Blurb (as on Amazon):
A young girl who wants to believe in ‘happily ever after’.
A boy who wants to fight hard to hold onto his picture-perfect world.
An almost broken marriage and a mother who will now live with guilt all her life.
Jenny was blissfully unaware of what lay for her in the future. She was happy in her world which revolved around her mother. When her world in taken over by a monster of a stepfather, Jenny finds solace in a schoolmate. For Jatin, Jenny is the only one he can call a friend and he will go to any lengths to keep her safe. But how far he would have to go?
Meera’s seemingly perfect world comes down crashing when a tragedy strikes. Her perfect marriage succumbs, and she is left with nothing. She clings on to hope with all her might that things will get better. But what if they do not? For how long she will survive before grief and guilt drown her?
Genre: Fiction/Family Drama
Format: Kindle eBook/Paperback
- Kindle eBook: 149 INR/$2.99
- Paperback (available only in India): 225 INR
My Ratings: 4.8/5
Jenny feels that her ‘happily ever after’ exists with herself and her mother Preeti. But her dreams are soon shattered and she finds herself feeling isolated when her mother remarries and Prashant enters their life. He is a strict disciplinarian who disapproves of almost everything that brings Jenny happiness. Uprooted from her old school and friends, she is drowned in her sorrows and loneliness. Jenny’s only solace is her new friend Jatin. He is Jenny’s junior in school, a popular boy who is everybody’s favorite but seems to be lonely too. But will he be able to help Jenny out from the pit of darkness she has fallen into?
What I liked about the book:
-> It highlights the impact of remarriage, separation/divorce between parents, on children.
-> Prashant’s character sends out an important message that an abusive childhood is likely to produce an abusive adult who repeats the same kind of behavior on other children once they grow up.
-> The way the author has shown how grief shakes us all and how one never really moves on from the loss of losing a loved one.
-> The story of each character in this book is brilliantly narrated. We cry and heal with them, waiting for the next chapter eagerly to find the ray of hope they’re looking for.
-> Preeti and Meera are intense characters, completely opposite and yet so similar. Sometimes we question their choices and even hate them for some decisions. But we also kind of empathize with their loneliness and pain.
What I did not like about the book:
-> It becomes preachy at times and I wish there was more dialogue to prove the many insightful points the author makes.
-> Somewhere in the middle, a reader might feel like the story is going off track. Though it all makes complete sense in the end, this can be a little off-putting.
-> ‘Happily ever after’ happens only in movies.
-> Most people add an extra zing to their tones when meeting somebody for the first time to ensure that they sound happy.
–> It would be unfair on anyone if they didn’t give happiness one more chance.
-> Taking a stand shows your character.
-> One should invest time in improving oneself as a person.
-> Parents have funny ways to express their love. Embarrassing children in front of their friends was their favorite.
-> Baseless optimism isn’t something that can thrive for long.
-> Certain things are beyond our control.
-> Sometimes things do not work out the way we want to.
-> Once a train of thoughts has already begun in our mind, they have a funny way. They are vague, totally irrelevant, and come ceaselessly one after the other.
-> Sometimes you don’t need words to fill the vacuum. Just the presence of someone special is enough.
-> It was liberating to finally say out loud the things she had kept to herself so far.
-> Affordability and convenience generally find preference over comfort and luxury.
-> Grief can be twice as powerful as happiness. It engulfs you and pulls you down into the deepest ravines where no ray of hope can penetrate. It sucks the air out of your lungs and leaves you gasping for breath. Even if you muster some energy to come up and try to live, it pulls you back with so much force that you gasp for every ounce of life.
-> A mother’s heart knows no reasons.
-> We generally don’t open our hearts to someone randomly. We mostly don’t want sympathy but just someone who would listen to us.
-> Some things are beyond our control. We have to learn to live with it. It is easier said than done but you have to try. You have to begin somewhere.
–> The grip of your grief is strong. But don’t let yourself sink. Breathe before you drown.
-> It was pain that held them together. They shared a common bond of heartache and they had to help each other to swim through it.
-> Love is a strange thing. It is found in most uncommon places. One can yearn for it for a lifetime and still not find it. And sometimes it is right beside you. All you have to do is reach out to it and accept it. When found, it brightens every single moment.
-> A relationship is like a growing plant. Initially, the new shoots look beautiful and shiny but they are not yet ready to face the harsh weather. A new relationship also looks rosy and promising but it is also not ready to face the ups and downs of life. You have to nurture it delicately for it to flourish. You need to tend to it till it finds its roots and becomes strong enough to withstand the lashes of time. You need to pull out the unwanted weeds of doubts and misunderstanding and keep adding the manure of empathy and patience. We don’t nurture it and put it out there mercilessly to face the brutalities and demands of our lives when it is still immature. If we give it time, it would bloom into something beautiful. Power and money are what men can really love.
-> Money and power are just the means to live, but love makes it complete.
-> Men aren’t capable of loving. At least not like women do. It is somewhere on the list of things they are happy about but certainly not at the top of it. We are wired differently. Accept it.
-> We should be upset with each other when expectations are not met. Isn’t that supposed to be normal? Having expectations from people you love? Making unreasonable demands from each other and hoping that they attempt to fulfil them. Loving each other for making those attempts? That was normal. Not expecting anything was the problem.
-> In an attempt to not come in each other’s way, they slithered away from each other.
–> Life doesn’t make deals. It plays on its terms.
-> What had to happen has happened. It cannot be changed.
-> Children have a different way of dealing with death and loss. Like adults, they cannot grieve openly. It is difficult for them to understand the loss. Death can have one of the two impacts on them- either their young mind doesn’t let the loss sink in deep, preventing them from understanding the grief that comes with it, or the mind completely succumbs to the shock and makes a small part of the brain reserved for that pain forever. The pain will emerge from that place every time the child deals with death.
-> She didn’t want to let the mistakes of her past define her future. But was she strong enough to go back and mend something which was so badly broken?
-> Let us not let the mistakes of our past haunt us in future but let the charming memories make us smile every time we think of them.
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