Friday, July 22, 2016

Review- The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky by Manan Kapoor

The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky on Goodreads


Kashmir — 1991

In between the insurgency and the exodus, Inayat finds solace in the company of Gul, a Kashmiri pundit, and Aaqib. She blooms under the eyes of her father, Maqbool — an alcoholic poet, and her mother — Wahida, who is fraught with sanguinity. They spend their days listening to The Doors in Gul’s backyard and attending Shakes-Peer’s English lessons at the school. However, as they leave behind their childhood, they realize that the future holds things for them that they have never even imagined.

Inayat comes face to face with loss as bereavement engulfs Kashmir. The echoing of the machine guns, the wails of her loved ones and the silence that she is bequeathed with is all that is left. The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky is the story of a skirmish with life and the perseverance in the dark times

Release date: April 18th 2016
Published by: Leadstart Publications
Page numbers: 249


When I first heard of The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky, I was really interested because even though I have always been curious, I had never read a book set in Kashmir. The only exposure I had to a fictionalised Kashmir was the recent movie, Fitoor. There was no way I was going to skip this book; and while it took me a long time to get to it and even more time to finish it, it was worth it because this book is exceptionally beautiful. The only disadvantage (or that's what I consider it) is that Manan Kapoor has really set up my expectations for books set in Kashmir, so the similar books that I will read in the future better be just as beautiful. 

The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky follows the story of Inayat, her parents, Maqbool and Wahida and her friends, Gul and Aaqib. Every character in the book is very uniquely made and wonderfully portrayed with a slight glimpse from almost every point of view, every once in a while. A true gem of historical fiction, this book gives us a realistic and raw look into the socio-political scenario of Kashmir and more than just that, it tells us what a few people went through because of that. Books like these teach you more than what history textbooks or even Google ever could, because they explicitly show us pain and suffering, something that- although difficult to digest, is very, very real.

For such a young writer, Manan Kapoor is very talented. His writing is beautiful and his storytelling is extremely addictive because I never wanted the book to end. With just one book, the author has already made his way to my auto-read list because I am very much looking forward to anything and everything that he will write next as I'm sure it'll be beautiful. There was a wonderful and very smooth flow to his words- almost similar to Khaled Hosseini, who is one of my most favourite writers, so that's definitely something special. Manan Kapoor is definitely an author to watch out for.

I don't want to get into the story because this is one of those stories that is better read than told. What I can promise is that The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky will leave you feeling a hundred and ten feelings because it is a beautifully sad book that will stay in your heart forever. It is, hands down, one of the best books I have read so far in 2016. Also, not to forget, the book cover is just as beautiful as the story itself, so this is one of those rarities where judging the book by it's cover will actually prove you right, because everything- and trust me- everything about this book is beautiful. 

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by the Leadstart Publications in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.

Buy the book: AMAZON/ FLIPKART

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