Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia, brings another wonderful novella, Unsettled.
Divya and Raghav are going through a rough patch in their otherwise blissful married life. Divya is sure that Raghav is having an extra-marital affair with his childhood friend Anu and Raghav is fed up of her suspicions and doesn’t bother to clear the misunderstandings. They both are just waiting for the other to utter the ‘D’ word.
In one last attempt to save their marriage, Divya visits a psychiatrist, Dr.Ray. He makes her go in the recesses of her memories and makes her talk about her ancestral town and the stories her grandmother had told her.
He advises Divya to bring along Raghav in their next sitting and advises them to go to Cherakad, her hometown and asks them to get ‘Scrolls of Love’ which were written by a banished poet Shankara 5 centuries ago, but now are in the possession of Thatri, a yakshini who lives in the Big House, a palace of 100 rooms. Unfortunately, it is believed to be haunted and that nobody can ever make it out of the house alive.
How do they enter the palace? Do they manage to get the Scrolls of Love? What importance does these scrolls hold in reviving their marriage? Who are Shankara and Thatri and what is their story? Read the novella to know answers to above questions.
The first thing that catches your eye is the impeccable writing style of Neelima (M.Phil in English literature). The characters are nicely sketched and are identifiable and considering it is a novella of just 70 pages, that is no mean task. The ancient story set 5 centuries ago and the present story run in parallel and you can instantly make the connection between the two stories. Although it begins with the story of Divya and Raghav, Unsettled is more about Thatri and Shankara. Neelima shows her prowess at writing by combining paranormal, supernatural and romance into one and also make it look convincing. Unsettled is poetry in verse and there is some kind of understated sexiness attached to the story which teases the reader.
I just have one complain. This shouldn’t have been just a novella, but should have been continued into a full-fledged novel.
A perfect, one-sitting read, for those who like to read about supernatural romances and also for those who appreciate good prose.
About the author:
Neelima Vinod spent her childhood in the Persian Gulf, with holidays in the warm, dreamy climes of southern India. Writing about the supernatural is an inevitable outcome of her exotic background. She has acquired her M.Phil in English literature and worked as editor, teacher and writer. She now lives in Bangalore, India. Her current obsessions are her twin sons, the books on her shelf and off it, and her poetry blog.