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Shadow in the Mirror: A Thrilling Quest for Redemption Paperback – Sep 2016
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About the Author
Deepti Menon is the author of two books, Arms and the Woman and Deeparadhana. She has worked as a journalist with several publications and is now a freelance editor. Short stories with deft twists and tongue-in-cheek articles that tickle the funny bone are her forte. Deepti lives with her family in Chennai.
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Deepti's subplots and stories, the back and forth and the meandering between eras, the clash of ideas and beliefs as worlds wind up taking on one another and the way these things impact each of the characters are amazing. Nita remains an enduring character - even though she is the one loose thread that brings the entire fabric down as it's pulled and tugged at, she is a very unifying and very moving presence throughout the book, and you find yourself falling for the charm that she exuded in her lifetime, albeit told through the eyes of many people. And yet, you also notice that Nita is not beatified in the way that most killed-off or dead characters are: you see her come alive with her flaws and misgivings intact, and no matter whose lens you read her life through, you see her as a very real person. Deepti's essays of each character, Vinny, Kavita, Roma, Krish, come with a certain depth and comprehensive understanding of the many ways in which a human being functions, thinks and acts.
The book has a melange of a brilliant range of personalities, and it stuns you how one mind can capture so many minds so effortlessly, and with authenticity no less. The fear, the malice, the anger, the curiosity and in places, the subtle placement of guilt (without a soppy drama no matter where the guilt resurfaces - I'm not spoiling it, so...) are really well thought out. It clearly comes forth that Deepti is not your average writer, and has in all possibility, become an anthropomorphic version of each of her characters while writing them out. What intrigues me most is how Deepti has handled the relationships and the individual segments of lives that dovetail into one another. In most books, one finds that the characters are consumed by everything in the book and live, breathe and exist within the frame of the plot or the sub-plots alone. But here, you can see that each of these characters can well be parallel lines and do have lives of their own, and that Nita's death begins to be a transverse that cuts their lives in the toughest of places. What that translates to, is an empowering and empathised rendition of each life and how one incident can impact so many, in so many different ways. The diary entries, the letters, the light-hearted conversations in the household, the spring cleaning routine and the exchanges between characters come with a depth that lends credence and poignancy to the tale in the most creative of ways.
This brings me to the question: What was Nita's death about? What went on behind the scenes?
Ha. AS IF I'M GOING TO TELL YOU!
There are multiple stories that are introduced as you go along which converge towards the end. Everything fits like pieces of a jigsaw. It's mysterious, it's intense and it's heartbreaking at places and it keeps you glued.
One thing that stands out is that even though the book has so many important female characters, they stand out on their own. You remember them distinctly, for the decisions they made, for their sorrows and for the character they exhibited.
It turns out that the cover and the content complement each other so perfectly.
Everyone aches to be saluted as beautiful and utterly charming. No expense is ever considered to be too small in that particular endeavor. And the mirror becomes a close confidant and co-conspirator. But if that mirror of confidence shatters? What if the ugliness isn't sugarcoated anymore? Would there be any tsunamis unleashed? Would any lives be scarred in the process? Will the mirror be a true companion till the very end?
Read this gripping novel for more. Deepti Menon delves deep into a woman's psyche and brings out all the hidden layers with relish.
Slyvia Plath's Mirror was also an awakener!!
i would like to specially mention the incident where roma , her daughter and roma's boyfriend (forgot name) come to a worse situation by the emotional fancies of mother and daughter. overall a good book i must say.
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