Ebook review: Got me for life by Chandni Moudgil

Women. Are they complex creatures or the simplest of beings? The answer is perhaps not as simple.

In a series of 26 short stories, explore the world of EveryDay Women with me. They aren’t the superheroes who claim to save the world. They are the ones who form a part of your world.

They can create magical moments, make or break people, manipulate relationships, slip in and out of roles or refuse to fit into one at all. They are the real women in our lives. But the common thread that binds these fascinating women is , they don’t need anyone to make their world better – they have themselves for life.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you find a bit of someone you know in each of them.

Let the stories begin?

Oh yes, do let the stories begin! Chandni’s got quite a gift for storytelling. She builds up situations and characters and you think the story is going one way, but then off it goes in the most unexpected, thrilling direction.

For instance, Beauty with a purpose is about a venture capitalist tycoon and his trophy wife who seem to have the perfect life, but then, who really wears the crown? Coffee needs company tells the story of a girl who dreamed of opening a coffee shop with her boyfriend, but then he dumped her, and her dreams were shattered, or were they? In Isn’t it ironic, the one who is always second best manages to beat the one who is always best in the arena where it matters most.

One of my favorite stories in this collection is Everlasting Love – a girl waits for a boy at a table by the poolside. While she waits for him, she thinks of the:

Polaroid pictures , hand written letters , love of food–his for cooking , hers as a critic & affinity to water–being of the same zodiac sign. They had so much in common.Definitely destiny more than design was at play here.

Does destiny play out for them as she hoped they would?

You’ll just have to read the book to find out!

You can download a free copy of the book here.

Ebook review: The Other Side of Love by Richa Singh

“Twenty seven is the last age to get married an in style.”

So begins this short novella, which was was penned by Singh during the month-long Ultimate Blogging Challenge.

The story follows 27 year old Radha, who, of course, is not yet married. She lives a rather lonely existence. She’s friend zoned by Sushant, the man she loves; her sisters are married and settled; and her mother is worried about Radha’s future. But instead of being forced into marriage, Radha accepts a teaching job from a coveted institute.

Here, the shy, timid girl meets bold, outspoken Sangeeta. Opposites attract, and a friendship is forged. The only hitch is that Sangeeta is lesbian and is attracted to Radha. Meeting Sangeeta, who is outspoken about her orientation, is a novelty for Radha. As she gets to know her better and is inspired by her outlook on life, there’s a lingering tension between them. Can Sangeeta dare to hope for a future between them? Or will the shy Radha follow convention and end up marrying the boy her mother chooses for her?

Each chapter explores a different facet of the relationship, the many confusions and contradictions of a somewhat conservative girl who’s just stepped out into the world, the battle between love and family, between wanting an answer and not forcing it.

There are twists and turns galore, and a whole host of characters I haven’t even mentioned here because I don’t want to give anything away. You’ll just have to read The Other Side of Love to find out how Radha and Sangeeta’s relationship shapes up.

Have I managed to pique your curiosity? Then click on the cover to download a copy of the book for free!

Ebook review: 26 by Aditi Kaushiva

26: 26 Stories. 26 Colours. 26 Emotions, is an anthology that strives to explore the myriad hues of life by painting 26 bite-sized stories, each based on 26 colours which commence with every letter of the alphabet from A to Z. The themes developed in these stories range from marital despair to urban city-life blues, from love to loss, from child abuse to infidelity, divorce, and much more.

This short eBook is a collection of 26 pieces of flash fiction. Kaushiva wrote each story in a day, in an attempt to show that short, swiftly written and transient narratives can be as powerful as complexly-constructed prose.

Each story in this anthology is linked to a color (Black, no More), a flower (Where Cattleyas Couldn’t Bloom), or a gemstone (The Jade Mandarin Ducks).

The stories deal with infidelity, broken hearts, love lost and gained – human lives and emotions in their many hues.

In Where Cattleyas Couldn’t Bloom, two young lovers are forced apart due to class issues; The Jade Mandarin Ducks is an exploration on marital neglect and infidelity; The Khakhee Distress, one of my favorite stories, looks at death and compassion; and Quinces explores the deep bonds of friendship.

And like almost any collection of short stories, some worked, some didn’t, and some were just about OK. But given that they were each written in a day, they’re pretty darn good.

Think you might like these stories? Click on the book cover to download a copy – free!



Book Review: Sweet Breath of Memory by Ariella Cohen

Life is in the telling.

Sweet Breath of Memory by Ariella CohenWhen Cate Saunders walks into Amberly’s Italian grocery store Vitelli’s, little does she know how her life is going to change. Weighed down by the loss of her husband John in the Iraq war, having lost the house they bought together, and all dreams of the life that they wanted to build, Cate has accepted a job as a caregiver.

Hopeless and numb, she wonders what the future will hold, and how she will manage to put a roof over her head given that she is down to her last few dollars. What she doesn’t anticipate is the bonds and friendships she will build in Amberly that will help and support her on her journey.

Miriam Rosen was a Polish Jew who lived in the rooms above Vitelli until she died a few years before Cate came to town. A prolific journaler, she kept a record of the years during the war and beyond, but no one knew where her diary was – until Cate started to find some of her journal entries.

The women of Amberly form the backbone of this novel. There’s diner-owner Gaby, who nourishes her customers’ spirits as well as their bodies; feisty Beatrice, who kept the town going when its men marched off to World War II; wise-cracking MaryLou, as formidable as Fort Knox but with the same heart of gold; and Sheila, whose Italian grocery, Vitelli, is the soul of the place.

Cohen has woven together a beautiful novel, integrating a Polish Jew’s stories of the holocaust and survival with Cate’s journey to healing her heart, along with the stories of Amberley’s women, a lot of whom have, in one way or another, been touched by war.

This is luminous, heart-warming writing, with a story that will stay with you long after you reach the end. It could potentially be one of those rare books that you will want to re-read from time to time, for the deep wisdom contained within its pages. Highly recommended!

Think you might enjoy this book too? Click to buy Sweet Breath of Memory on Amazon

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from NetGalley, but the review and opinion are mine.
Note: This post contains affiliate links

#MicroBlog Mondays: The first Gurgaon BYOB meet-up

The first Gurgaon BYOB (where the last B stands for books, not booze) meet-up took place yesterday at The Wishing Chair’s adorable Mad Teapot cafe. It was quite a turn out, and I was blown away by the variety of books and authors that people brought along to the discussion. Ranging from Murakami and Rushdie, to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, to an Indian author from Nagaland and an Iranian graphic novelist (yes, the Iranian graphic novelist), to a pilot and a sports writer – the discussion was engaging, illuminating, and passionate. The best thing was the absence of Chetan Bhagat and his ilk – although there was quite a heated debate on bad writing and there being no such thing as bad writing. It was a stimulating meet-up, and I came away with a couple of more books added to my TBR list. Here’s to more BYOB events in Gurgaon; may the tribe of readers grow!

Linking up with MicroBlog Mondays.