Monday, June 16, 2014

Book Review: The Smoke is Rising by Mahesh Rao

Yesterday, I finished reading The Smoke is Rising by Mahesh Rao (Random House India). It's his debut novel and has been shortlisted for many fiction awards. Few days after receiving this book, I had read his short story "The Agony of Leaves". The story is a little unconventional and I liked the treatment that makes it gripping.

This book is a little different, and that's why I picked it to read as I'm trying to explore new and different genre.

This book is set in Mysore. The city is gearing for a makeover with the construction of Heritage Land, Asia's largest theme park. Amid this excitement, three different women, Susheela (an elderly widowed woman, Uma, a mysterious house help and Mala, a normal married woman struggling with her husband's troubled behaviour), are busy with their different lives.

I read the review on DNA India where the review said that this book has an air of authenticity.... I totally agree with this thought. The writing is very original, capturing the minutest details of daily life of the main and minor characters in an interesting way and that creates a very real and vivid imagery.

The author has sketched the women characters and their feeling skillfully. The minor characters are also well defined. It reflects keen observation. The narration is light and neat with a slight touch of wry humour. The book cover is modern and suits the theme.

Overall, for me, it was a nice and different read!

I thank Random House India (Random reads) for sending me the review copy for an unbiased review!.

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