Monday, May 15, 2017

The Wrong Turn - Book Review

The Wrong Turn
By Sanjay Chopra and Namita Roy Ghose
Review by Ila Garg

The Wrong Turn, a novel by Sanjay Chopra and Namita Roy Ghose, is published by Om Books International. The cover looks interesting with a couple in a jeep seeking some close moments. The subtitle – Love and Betrayal in the Time of Netaji – makes the plot look all the more intriguing. In fact, this line caught my attention more than the cover.

Sanjay Chopra is an airline pilot and the author of two collections of short stories. His stories have won the Invisible Ink, the Millennium writers and Southport awards in the UK and the USA. In the words of his readers, ‘He is a storyteller like those of the old days, yet his stories are as modern as tomorrow.’

During a school project on ‘The most memorable day of my life’, Namita Roy Ghose wrote about a Russian girl on the day WW2 ended. She got her first rejection slip from the teacher for making things up. Ever since, Namita has established her storytelling skills through her scriptwriting, screenplays poetry, fiction, legendary advertising campaigns, and as a renowned advertising film director. A Creative Director with HTA, she left after 13 years to start her own film company, White Light, one of India’s top ad film outfits. A social activist, she is the founder of Vanashakti, an NGO that works to protect the environment. Namita has done pro bono work on issues like domestic violence, child welfare, sexual harassment and forest preservation. She is an avid traveller, a photographer, foodie and teacher.

The blurb reads as, “1944, Kohima — a small, sleepy town in northeast India. Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA) along with the Japanese, are on the brink of bringing the Empire to its knees and forcing the British out of India. But, inexplicably, the tables turn. The INA’s advance is thwarted and the victory march to Delhi is halted. Seventy years later, the British admit that the Battle of Kohima was the greatest battle they had ever fought. Even more so than the battles of Waterloo and Dunkirk.
Was it then that old Indian curse — betrayal? Someone from within Netaji’s own ranks? Were there forces other than the British, waiting in the shadows closer to home, who stood to gain even more from the INA’s defeat? Or was it just love that irrevocably altered the course of India’s destiny?
The Wrong Turn: Love and Betrayal in the Time of Netaji, is a sweeping tale of passion set against the freedom struggle. Debraj, the rakish playboy and scion of a distinguished Calcutta family, and Nishonko, the fiery revolutionary sworn to the cause of the INA, must not only fight their common enemy, but also for the love of Aditi, the rebel with the healing touch.
A haunting tale of love, friendship and betrayal of an entire nation, The Wrong Turn veers inexorably towards a poignant redemption.”

The Wrong Turn is a historical fiction full of suspense, tragedy, drama, romance and betrayal. Set in the pre-independence era, the book takes you straight to the 1940s where Subhash Chandra Bose and his INA played a prominent role in shaping up history as we know it. The life and times of Netaji are revisited through this book and a great deal of insight is given into his work, nature and thought process. How wonderfully the author has embedded love and betrayal effortlessly in a historical plot is amazing!

The plot seems quite realistic and successfully portrays the deep and intricate emotions that love and betrayal often result in. 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 and is quite an eye-opener. After all history wasn’t only about freedom struggles, wars, violence, bloodshed, etc. It had instances of love and betrayal too which we never talk about.

Further, this 488-page book is a light read and overall a compelling book. Who was Debraj Mookerji, how his birth in a rich family wasn’t of much help in the times of atrocities, who was Gangadhar Goopta, how he betrayed his own friend Sir Harry who was Debraj’s father, how Debi indulged with Deb’s friend Andrew and subsequently got pregnant, how at last situations lead Debraj to be saved by Nishonko and then taken to the camp of INA which was headed by Netaji are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in The Wrong Turn.

Ratings: 4/5

Buying Link: Amazon

This (Unbiased) book review is a part of "The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program". To get free books log on to Thanks Nimi Vashi for giving me the opportunity to read such a nice book!

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