Shuchi Singh kalra is an Amazon best-selling author and A Cage Of Desires is her third novel. The book delves into the life of a middle-class woman, her emotional needs and her journey through her monotonous boring life and her ascension thereafter.
Renu, a typical middle-class Indian woman, lives with her father-in-law and two kids in Lucknow. Her life revolves around her family, rather ‘duty’ towards family and barely has any time for herself. She is tired of her existence, feels lonely and is emotionally needy.
Dev, her husband, works in Sitapur and his visits have trickled down from weekly to once or twice a month. He is growing more and more distant and avoids Renu as much as he can. Work stress is the reason he cites but Renu doesn’t buy it. She knows something is wrong.
Maya has become a rage. She is churning out best sellers one after the other but nobody knows who she is. Maya, a pen name, is becoming an enigma and people are growing more and more curious about her by the day. Many think she is avoiding limelight because of the subject of her books: erotica.
Ajay, a young man, their tenant gives Renu more attention than Dev ever did. His company seems a refreshing change for Renu and she starts spending more and more of her time on the terrace with Ajay.
What happens of Dev and Renu? And what happens of Renu and Ajay? Who is Maya? And how is she related to Dev, Arjun and Renu? Read A Cage Of Desires to know the answers.
This is just her third full fledged book, but Shuchi writes like a veteran. The story commences at a slower pace and as the new characters are introduced, it catches up swiftness. Renu’s life, her emotions, her insecurities and her desires are expressed in such a way that we instantly make a connection with her and begin to pin for her.
There are many steamy scenes, both mutually consenting and otherwise, but they don’t seem to ebb the flow of the story. In spite of many episodes of the communion, there is barely a mention of anatomy. It is really hard, no pun intended, but Shuchi makes it seem so easy.
The way Renu’s character growth is penned in the book is commendable. From a meek homely woman who is afraid to go out of the house without permission to giving in to temptation to leaving it all for family to living the life on her own terms and showing people their places without mercy, Renu’s life is nothing short of a roller-coaster ride.
The situation of most women is also aptly depicted. How they are supposed to be taking care of the house and forego their desires, needs, ambitions and aspirations. And how in spite of making all these sacrifices, they are always reprimanded for not doing enough. How they are confined to a cage and how it takes a very strong woman to be able to overcome this barrier to fulfill her desires.
The book does make up for a wonderful read, but certain things didn’t go down well with me.
Renu, a strong woman, not only allows someone to demean her but also blames it on herself.
Dev’s choice of living in Sitapur, his aversion towards Renu in spite of having a spark in the beginning, isn’t clearly explained.
Ajay, the most charismatic flirt at one moment and the most cunning jerk the second. There could have been more explanation for this sudden change of behavior.
Never once did I feel that I was reading a chick-lit book. It is an ordinary story told in an extra-ordinary way with lots of filmy twists and turns making it an enjoyable read.