Sunday, December 11, 2016

Black Sheep Caught in a Cobweb - Part 1 - Book Review

Black Sheep Caught in a Cobweb – Part 1
By Mirabelle Pereira
Review By Ila Garg

Black Sheep Caught in a Cobweb, a novel by Mirabelle Pereira, is published by Partridge India. It is clearly a book series as indicated by ‘Part 1’. The cover didn’t impress me much but it rightly depicted the title of the book.

I have heard of crazy families before, but families who actually catch the attention of law enforcement and airport authorities are rare! So I had to read it. However, what a pity! The author has described the incidents but the reasons. For the reasons, one has to wait for the part two of the series.
The blurb of the book indicated that a humourous tale awaits me.

The blurb reads as, “Normal families make fewer enemies, but dysfunctional families make better memories.”
Mirabelle Pereira shares twenty vignettes featuring her family, which has caught the attention of law enforcement and airport authorities around the globe (but you'll have to read part two of her memoirs to learn why, which is coming soon).
In each anecdote, self-assuredness is suppressed by unfortunate circumstances leading to both humiliation and epiphany.
Disclaimer: The reader must not take themselves too seriously as this could lead to the author being potentially put in a home in the countryside.
Join Pereira on a humorous and unforgettable ride that celebrates the confusion and dysfunction of a large family in a self-deprecating manner in Black Sheep Caught in a Cobweb.

This book is a humorous account of a family which is not so normal. This is how the preface begins:
In the famous opening line of Russian classic Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy writes, ‘All happy families are alike. Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’
I still haven’t decided whether we are an unhappy or a happy family but I do know that we are certainly not like any other on this planet. Watching a recent movie with my grandparents and mother (only half my family) was a surreal experience….
No, before you start making any judgements, I must say this book doesn’t offer regular humour; it is a book with intelligent humour. Families; we all live in them—sometimes cribbing, sometimes laughing! I have therefore shared these few lines from the preface for you all to get the flavour of this author’s writing style. It is fresh and yet so relatable.

The author has laced out the incidents so beautifully in humorous details. It’s not easy for an author or anybody for that matter to make someone laugh. However, this book easily manages to do that while picking common issues that we all see in our families but choose to ignore in the humdrum of life.

I cannot resist sharing the introduction of the family members as given by Mirabelle Pereira because this was what made me believe I am reading a good book.
The grandmother
- A pathological liar hosting secret blackjack meetings everyday at home which she dubs as a daily ‘computer class’.
The grandfather
- Second in line to the matriarch, he often disappears on mysterious foreign trips and emerges when a whiskey bottle is popped out despite having suffered from two strokes.
The mother
- Definitely suffering from social anxiety and nervous disorder; known for a beetroot-like complexion enhanced by her particularly thin layer of skin that allows you to see her veins and arteries. Never needs an x-ray.
Jasmine, the aunt
- A victim of hypomania where she has a chance to show off her virtuous self by taking on tasks too ambitious for the shoes she’s worn; her favourite being that of a tiger mother.
Keith, the uncle
- Hit hard by the truck of obesity but combating those results through regular marathons where he has a chance to show off his dragon tattoo.
Sid, the brother
- A lock-sick boy, suffering from chronic laziness. Not much else is known about him.
Zara, the cousin
- All of seven years of age, having terrified three nannies back to their villages; she is known for her Many Kom-esque build and regularly does 100 push ups on the bar.
Myself, Mirabelle
- Bitten by the bug of insanity from the time; I was born much like the rest of the gang, the effects of this are being revealed by the day.
The language is simple and easy to comprehend. I found the book quite engaging overall.

Further, this 108-page book is good enough to expose the drama and humour that exists in the families. I think we all can relate with the instances at some point or the other. It’s a light read and a compelling book.

Ratings: 4/5

Buying Link: Amazon

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