Bookish Witch

Behind the closed door: An unconventional Valentine by Shalini Ranjan

Blurb (as on Amazon):

From Shalini Ranjan, author of the bestseller- If I Hadn’t Met You, comes a tale of love, conflict, understanding, and acceptance.

Pragya, a young middle-class girl who has just landed her first job, finds her life taking an unexpected turn when she is chosen to marry her dynamic boss, Rajiv Mathur.

Everything feels like a dream until she realizes that neither her husband nor her marriage is as perfect as they seem. Three years and two miscarriages later, Pragya is left standing at a crossroads with her marriage falling apart and a tough decision to make.

But is her marriage really over? Is Rajiv really what he seems to be? Or is there more to him and their bond?

A touching tale of romance that navigates the tricky waters of marital complexities and complacencies, Behind The Closed Door will make you smile, shed a tear, and ponder, before eventually leaving a bittersweet aftertaste in your heart.

Genre: Fiction/ Romantic short story

Pages: 45

Format: Kindle eBook

Price: 99 INR/$1.99

My Rating: 4.3/5

Pragya is elated when she lands her first job as a junior copywriter in a reputed firm. Little does she anticipate that her boss, Rajiv Mathur has begun to like her. He soon expresses his desire to marry her and before Pragya can voice out her say in the matter, they’re married off. Though the world thinks that Pragya is fortunate to have married into such a rich and respectable family, only Pragya knows how unhappy she is. Will Pragya and Rajesj’s marriage keep up with this pretense for long?

What I liked about the book:

  • The protagonists’ relationship is portrayed in an organic and beautiful manner. Readers will travel through the emotional trauma felt by both of them.
  • Pragya’s confusion, distress and dilemma will be relatable for many Indian married women who go into an arranged marriage not knowing much about their partners.
  • Though it is a short read, the book is nicely sequenced and divided into chapters, where each chapter begins with a thought-provoking quote and structures the story building up our curiosity.
  • I liked how the story is told from the PoV of both the lead characters.

What I did not like about the book:

  • I started reading it expecting it to be a story around domestic abuse and hoping that it would be somewhat of an empowering read where Pragya stands up for herself and grows into her own. But it was quite the opposite. Though this does not take away from the story, it did personally feel like a letdown.

Quotable quotes:

  • Women are conditioned to believe that they cannot take the initiative to blossom a relationship. They’re often barred from opposing a forced relation that hops in with the ritual of marriage.
  • Sometimes you have to stay silent because no words can explain what is going on in your mind and heart.
  • Silence is a woman’s loudest cry. You can always tell she’s really hurt when she starts ignoring you.
  • Before you assume, learn the facts. Before you judge, understand why. Before you hurt someone, feel. Before you speak, think.
  • You can’t keep getting mad at people for sucking the life out of you, if you keep giving them the straw.
  • Our own grief and trauma often makes us wonder how the rest of the world can look so carefree when our has shattered to pieces.
  • It is love when that person matters to you or makes a difference in your life.
  • The purpose of marriage is not just to get cozy in bed every night but to make the partner comfortable with the new beginning.
  • Silence isn’t empty, it is full of answers.
  • The longer a rift goes on, the more hostile feelings and attitudes become.
  • Rejection doesn’t hurt, expectations do. Lying doesn’t destroy, denial does. Forgetfulness doesn’t heal, forgivess does.

Check out the book here:

Author’s social media handles:

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3 thoughts on “Behind the closed door: An unconventional Valentine by Shalini Ranjan”

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