Saturday, April 15, 2017

Turning Back Time - Book Review


Turning Back Time
By Shravya Gunipudi
Review by Ila Garg

Turning Back Time, a novel by Shravya Gunipudi, is published by Gargi Publishers. The cover instantly takes you back to the olden days when villages were considered glorious; the times when India was the golden bird with agriculture being the major occupation. The women walking with pots filled with water on their head was a delightful sight back then. The cover thus, gives you a lot to delve on.

Shravya Gunipudi, a 23-year-old CA and CS, has been writing ever since the tender age of nine. Now, more than a decade since her first journey with the pen, she has won numerous prizes for her Articles, Short Stories and Poetry. She was a part of 19 Anthologies with a total of 17 published stories and was recognised as 'Best Writer of the Year, 2013' by yourstoryclub.com. She is also the editor of the project 'The Book of Dreams', by Numerique Publications. Shravya wishes to explore her passion both in Finance and Writing. It is her dream to merge her creative side with her analytical one. Writing, she believes, is the best form of expression that calms the mind and frees the soul. Her favourite quote is 'Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about'.

Turning Back Time is her literary debut.

The blurb reads as, “When people we love pass away, they only take their presence with them. They leave their memories with us. The story revolves around 'Alia', an emotionally distant woman, and how the lives of four elderly strangers impact her own very deeply, bringing about a change in the way she treats herself and those around her. As the clock begins to tick and they each start to die, leaving their stories behind for her to learn from, she finds that the depression and trauma caused by their loss have left with her the gift of a lifetime... Realisation. In the tale of life, death and the ride in between, where there are always mistakes and never second chances, there is only one question. 
Can you make it through without regrets?”

I have been associated with Gargi Publishers since it actually came into being. I have seen it going through the many different phases and therefore, a book from Gargi is always a delight. I was looking forward to read this one from the day it was announced—had a lot of expectations with Gargi’s first traditional book, and so far it hasn’t disappointed me.

I heard that people are liking the book, so I was excited to finally be able to read it despite being on a tight schedule.

So, I will tell you why I started with this book on the day when I received it. The cover and concept are so interesting that you won’t be able to resist yourself from reading this one quickly. It seemed a substantial read since the beginning. I was glad to read the blurb that managed to make the book look promising. And as I turned pages after pages, I was amazed to see how the author made sure that the character evolves in the story and doesn’t remain stagnant!

The story revolves around Alia who works in an old age home. The plot has layers of plots which forms the USP of the book. Some other notable elderly characters are – Sita, Girish, Hema and Raman. The central theme of — the bitterness in the past leads to realisation in the present for a sweeter future — ties the sub plots together in a single string. Alia who works closely with them, observes their stories and reflects on them. The book speaks volumes about some very sensitive topics like death, sati, domestic abuse, forced marriages, love that is forbidden, sexual abuse, and more specifically, it highlights the importance of realisation.

The plot seems quite realistic and successfully portray deep and intricate emotions that we all have to deal with in our lives. The language is simple, lucid and easy to comprehend. Nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect. It’s so well-written that once you pick up, you cannot keep it down without finishing it off. It took me a couple of hours to complete the book. I found it quite engaging. The subject is tackled beautifully.

Further, this 196-page book is a light read and overall a compelling book. It brings to light the importance of choices in one’s life. How Alia and Mayank find each other’s company engaging, how the experiences of elderly people at the old age home help Alia, how death plays a significant role in changing the lives of the living people, how Alia grows as an individual as realisation dawns upon her are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Turning Back Time.

As a debut book, the author has nailed it. The book is highly recommended as it is fresh, crisp and yet a sparking light amidst the darkness.

Ratings: 4.25/5

Buying Link: Amazon

4 comments:

  1. being a book reader at heart..this book will be a great addition to my collection...

    ReplyDelete

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