Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review- Secrets, Sins & Struggles by Kamini Kusum

Secrets, Sins & Struggles on Goodreads


A collection of five tales,Secrets,Sins & Struggles is about the lives and loves of five women, tracing their long, eventful journeys that are anything but linear. 

Meet Pooja, a teenager forced into the flesh trade but determined to escape and get justice. Shrawani who dreams of becoming a bureaucrat despite all the trials life throws her way. Avni who is torn between her childhood friend and her brand-new boyfriend. Harsha who is trapped in a loveless arranged marriage while still being haunted by thoughts of her forsaken lover. Geshna who falls head over heels for a high school sweetheart only to find her own life shrinking to accommodate his. 

These stories are about the odds stacked against women in their path to love and success.They are also about hope that the next turn will lead to the happiness and success they all long for.

Release date: November 10th 2016
Published by: Zorba Books 
Page numbers: 224 


Author Kamini Kusum's Secrets, Sins & Struggles is a compilation of five contemporary short stories about women who face many hardships and even then manage to get up from it and live their life. Because every story is very different, here are reviews of each of them:

Brothel to Assembly- This was the best story of the entire collection. I only wish it featured at the very end instead of at the very beginning because while the other stories were super good, this one increased my expectations which weren't necessarily met. The story of a simple, intelligent and strong girl, Brothel to Assembly tells the very hard-hitting and sad but truly amazing and inspiring story of Pooja, who, as the title suggests, gets to the assembly from a brothel only because of her determination and courage. This story is honestly amazing.

Love, Corporate and Custody- This was a rather typically romantic story of Geshna who is madly in love with Nihal and will do whatever it takes- and that includes putting aside and shattering her own dreams and goals- to be with him and make him happy. I found this story to be interesting, yes, but when I got to the end of it, it seemed very mediocre in terms of the plot itself. For the life of me, I couldn't understand why Geshna needed a man like Nihal when she had the amazing and unending support of her doting and wonderful parents. Nonetheless, Love, Corporate and Custody was a nice, subtle and refreshing read after the first story which was a heavy read.

Madam Bureaucrat- Now I found Madam Bureaucrat to be very similar to Love, Corporate and Custody and that was slightly disappointing. Both are stories of girls who keep aside and even give up their dreams to please the man they think they love. I did, however, love reading about the glimpse this story gave me into the world of bureaucracy and the hardships people undergo to become an IAS officer; that part was informative and enjoyable to read about. Shrawani's character was admirable, yes, but for someone as smart as her, I was hoping she'd do more than just give into something so easily.

Sin- Coming to Sin, the fourth and second last story of the collection, it was a very filmy story which was nice all right, but for a contemporary women-centric collection, I didn't get why it focused so much on the very conventional role of a woman which really put me off. Besides, I couldn't manage to stand- let alone like- the main protagonist Harsha, whose character was really hard to accept. The highlight of this story was Snehil who was such a wonderful person with a heart of gold and clearly gave Harsha the treatment she didn't deserve. Quite an eye-opener to the reality of today probably, I couldn't stand Harsha which made this a very disappointing and okay read for me.

That Rave Party Night- This story was very informative and well-written and the plot was really good too. Again, I did have some problems with the characters, but I could definitely oversee it because this was just well made, which means the book ended on a good note. Avni was the main character in this story and what she went through was horrible but I admired how she stood up to herself and made sure justice was served. This was a good story.

All in all, Secrets, Sins & Struggles was a mix because it did start and end with two realistic, raw and extremely strong and inspiring stories. The stories in the middle were just about okay. I would definitely recommend this book because it has some really good stories and when you combine that with author Kamini Kusum's simple and smooth writing, it makes for a great collection to read over a nice, long weekend or for feminist research and to understand the condition and situation of women in India. 

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by author Kamini Kusum in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.

Buy the book: AMAZON (IN) / FLIPKART

1 comment:

  1. Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading through some of your earlier posts as well and decided to drop a comment on this one!


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