Saturday, June 15, 2013
Book Review - Melancholic Delight
Melancholic Delight is a refreshing, unique novel about a young Indian woman's coming of age story. Sri falls in love with Jishu hard. Could that love she buries in her heart for him become any stronger? As you read, you wonder if it's possible, but it is. This is a story of a high school student's final years as she struggles to find a way to express her love for a boy in her class.
I was unsure of the book when I first starting reading. The language is different and the way of narration isn't your standard romance novel of third person point of view. It's very intimate and I soon became swept into the depths of Sri's feelings for Jishu, her frustration because of her shyness to show him, and her struggles with rejection and fickle behaviour from her love and the persecution of her insensitive classmates. Then I realised the wisdom and maturity of the writer's insight. She captures young, teenage first love like a master - the confusion, insecurity, intense emotion often changing from day to day, and the dynamics of teenage relationships and friendships.
The beauty in the story is not in the Happy-Ever-After. It's not that type of story, but in the growth of Sri as she becomes the adult she was meant to become. Although Jishu's final rejection is painful, Sri has changed as a person. The most touching line in the book is her mother's words to her: "I can see he had taught you a lot. Not just to talk freely and think gently but also to love sincerely." You're left with the almost certain feeling that Sri will find true love one day with a man who understands her shyness to express her feelings, a man who makes her feel comfortable enough to show them to him. She reminds me a lot of what I was like as a teenager and young adult.
The writer of this book is a teenager herself. The depth of point of view and analysis of teenage love goes beyond her years. She has a deep, literary almost poetic style. I love the way she gives a feel of her culture without going into any long descriptions but by merely taking the reader right into the mind of the person. Excellent deep point of view writing skills which many more mature writers struggle to grasp.
The reason I didn't give this book five stars is because I believe it should have been edited more thoroughly. There were grammatical problems and word choice errors that could cause confusion to the reader. At times I didn't understand what was being expressed.
Tista Ray is kindly donating 50% of the proceeds of her book to an orphanage. You can purchase a copy at the following link: Melancholic Delight. You can find her on the world wide web at: Tista Ray