Review of My Life - Story by Jennifer Ehidiamen

Price: 90 INR

Book: My life – story
Author: Arti Honrao
Year Published: 2008
Publisher: Sai-Kiran Publications
No. of pages: 71 [71 in earlier edition. Reprinted book is 111 pages]
(References of page nos. as per the older version)

If only Kavya had listened to her sister and father, it would have saved her a lot of headache and heartache. “I love him and no one can stop me!” she tells us in page 25. But I ask, why will any young lady fall in love with a man who acted irresponsibly with her sister? That is love, a powerful emotion that can control us as we let it. Kavya stubbornly refused to learn from her sister’s experience and received her own share of “…sorrow and Joy are two sides of a coin” page 71. When she finally wakes up to smell the coffee, she found it too late- it had gone cold…or maybe not?

In the book “My life - story”, the author Arti Honrao narrates a tangled love story in a creative and intense way that leaves you emotionally exhausted but asking for more. The story begins at the ending, using a flash back technique; the plot opens on Kavya, the heroine who takes us through her ordeal in a first-person narration.

The first page, like the cover illustration gives nothing away. You just have to keep guessing because the plot is unpredictable. The author’s ability to carry you along keeps you mesmerized until the last line. Also, her first-person narrative technique makes you a part of the plot development. The characters are described to soothe the role they played in the book. For example, Shantanu “was like the first-drop of rain falling on the scorched earth after a long hot summer.” Pg 13.

However, the story was too embed on telling us an emotional tale. Did the author lack the skill to be more detailed or did she deliberately avoid telling us about the other aspect of the Characters? I would have loved to read about what they ate, their clothing style, the environment etc. this would have reduced the intensity of the plot and lightened the sad mood that overwhelmed the theme. It would have also projected the India culture to a global audience.

Unarguably, Arti Honrao’s imaginative writing covered up for whatever flaw that lies in the book. "...most of my writings depicts human feelings and emotions, which i try to bring out onto the page and into the minds of the reader" said Arti Honrao. And she did just that in this book. You could feel her passion and creative expertise with words as you follow the story. She intrudes your mind with vivid imagination that makes the characters come alive in the book. Kavya’s voice was strong all through because the author employed her poetic instinct through the way she plays with words while telling the story.

I was most enthralled by the plot as well as the character development that helps make a complicated theme so easy to understand. My life – story is about love, companionship, deceit, hatred and lost. Although its realistic ending was on a note of hope and tranquility, the tragic mood was much stronger. Indeed, the simplicity of the language makes it easy for even my six years old niece to decipher but the intensity of the story is too captivating for a child’s mind. My Life – Story is a very deep book that you will enjoy reading.

Jennifer Ehidiamen
Dis Generation Columnist
THE NATION (on Sunday) Newspaper
(+234) 08054503875

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