Thursday, 11 August 2016

Book Review- Shamsuddin’s Grave by Paromita Goswami

Paromita Goswami’s maiden novel Shamsuddin’s Grave is built upon the sensitive issues of illegal migration and their struggle to live in a land often shattered by natural and social calamities. While these illegal immigrants face a harsh treatment by authorities and society, sometimes they also come across a considerate soul who is willing to help without being judgmental about them. Shamsuddin’s Grave is a story of struggle, humanity, patience and redemption.
Set in the Guwahati, the story primarily revolves around Shamsuddin who is considered an illegal migrant even after spending generations in this country. The political and social apathy forces him to migrate further from his village to the more promising city of Guwahati. However, he still struggles to make ends meet. Snehlata and later on, Latika, are two women who despite the rigid caste-based prejudice prevailing in the society help Shamsuddin generously. Latika also struggles to keep her past at bay and yearns for an optimistic future. Latika is associated with a NGO and comes across many social issues while working for the community. Human trafficking is also dealt with in the story.

The story has a slow pace and seemed disoriented at certain junctures. Though the print and paper quality of the book was excellent, the book lacked editing and proof-reading. I particularly liked the neat cover page. The characters are likeable especially Shamsuddin and Snehlata. Each character had a story of its own but somehow the link between these stories wasn’t very strong. Latika’s character is a girl-next-door type and one could relate to her easily. I am sure all of us know some-one like Latika. Debjyoti, who falls in love with Latika, is also adorable. But the physical chemistry between them lacked passion. Instead of miserable attempts to describe the intimate moments, the reader could have left to imagine.

The fact that I did not leave the book mid-way and actually looked forward to reading that every evening must mean something. I was curious to know about Shamsuddin. Latika and Debjyoti were made for each other, hence no surprise there. Again, the reading this one would have been more pleasurable without the rampant spelling and grammatical mistakes.

My rating- 

About the Author: Paromita Goswami is an India based freelance writer and blogger. She also writes for various travel magazines. After a successful career in marketing in Delhi, she finally switched to writing full time in 2009. She was born in Shillong and spent her growing years in North-east India before moving to Delhi. She has a strong insight into the issues of the people in the North-east, which she successfully highlighted in her debut novel, Shamsuddin’s Grave. She is a big fan of Indian classic and loves to spend her time with her pets and family.(Source: Goodreads)

I had received a free paperback copy of this book by The Book Club in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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