Thursday, December 17, 2015

The review of Curse of Damini by Debajani Mohanty




Book Name             :    The Curse of Damini
Author                      :    Debajani Mohanty
Publisher                 :    Partridge Publishers
Number of Pages   :    185
Publishing Year     :     2015
Edition                      :    Paperback
Rating : 4.5



Blurb

The world seemed not enough for free spirited Renuka, when she married the highly educated Shashank hailing from the mightiest Zamindars of Bengal. However, soon her life turned upside down when a neighbor revealed her of their sinister past.

It’s a mysterious supernatural curse cast on their family almost a century back. Generation by generation, Damini's enraged curse had passed on, declining their family clan from hundreds to a handful few. Who would be Damini's next victim? And why innocent lives are at a stake for a crime committed by an ancestor a hundred years back? Renuka would not settle until she finds an answer and in her quest she struggles to eradicate all the evils that come in her way. Would she ever win a battle against an unseen enemy? Would the wrong done to Damini be ever avenged?

Set against the nostalgic era of 1940s, the story narrates the arduous journey of Renuka Pal, the protagonist, from a rash teen age freedom fighter to the seasoned writer of the 21st century India. In this thrilling saga of death, betrayal and power plays the narrative would cover a large chunk of twentieth century history. The passing of time, historical events and the changing country is so well-woven to the story that one would hardly differentiate between fact and fiction.


My Review

Why I did not include Plot and Character section is that the plot is too vast and if I say more, it would end up as a spoiler and so is the cast.

The Curse of Damini is a historical fiction. The story of Renuka a headstrong, talented, lovable girl.  Renuka is shocked to learn that her marital family is cursed by a girl called Damini, who committed suicide a hundred years back, to escape from being raped by one of the forefathers of Renuka's husband. 

While I read the blurb and the first chapters I thought that it is a horror novel. But No. It is a historical fiction. We can see authoress's take on every historical events right from Sepoy mutiny, World war, Quit India movement, Independence, Communal Riots, Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, abolition of Zamindari, Sati and Child marriage to the Nirbhaya case. There is a strong voice of protest against the cruelties towards women. The protagonist is a strong feminist but I would not categorize this book as a feminist novel. For those who say Indians can write only romance, I ask them to buy and read this book. A vast research can be seen in the book. I have posted the review of autobiographical account of a zamindar's son last month. I can say that this book complies with the realities shown by him. 

From the thirties to the twenty first century, women are exploited, raped and trodden but not all men are the same. Authoress made this point through the character portrayal of Shashank and Anirudh. 

Highlights

The story line is plausibly strong. Character crafting is exemplary. The pace of the story is very consistent. The book has the power to grab the readers and force them to hook to it. I had goosebumps while reading the penultimate chapter. What more should I say? If you like history, romance, rebellion or mystery, you will love this book. This is all in one. And yes, it has contemporary relevance too. Editors have done a good job. The book had practically no errors. Writing style is simple but with strong mettle.


Drawbacks

It might sound silly but the overuse of the word 'however' was like an eyesore. The last chapter was rushed. The ending was good but abrupt. The book cover is misleading.


One Liner

A thrilling, exciting, and riveting saga of Renuka

Avail the book from AMAZON & FLIPKART

About the author


Debajani Mohanty is an engineering graduate and senior I.T. professional with a career of nearly one and half decades. Her interests include music, history, world cuisines and women education & empowerment. The nature of her work as well as passion for different cultures has made her travel half of the living world.

“The Curse of Damini” her debut novel is a supernatural thriller and a semi-fiction that covers many age-old vices against women. She started writing this 2.5 years back after the barbaric Nirbhaya episode of Delhi and her work is a small effort towards ending the violence and discrimination against women in society.

Debajani is married and lives in Delhi/NCR with her husband and two daughters.


Reviewed for wordit marketing
 (http://becomeshakespeare.com/)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy in exchange for a honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.