Monday, January 1, 2018

A Hundred Little Flames

Set in the picturesque settings of Kerala, this is a very enjoyable book. It is Preeti Shenoy's maiden fiction, and is a perfect balance of her imagination and personal experiences as a child.

The book begins with a sharp twist of events, when the protagonist, Ayan loses his job for no fault of his. He is sent to visit his grandfather who had a fall recently, in a far flung village in Kerala, a village so small that it is not identifiable on Google Maps.

He arrives to his ancestral home where his grandfather Gopal Shanker stays, only to find that there is no internet connectivity even in the idyllic village.

The story progresses as Ayan gradually falls in love with the slow life, making local friends and his interactions with his grandfather. He is kept in dark by his father who stays in Bahrain about his wish to sell off Thekke Madom, their ancestral home- something old Gopal Shanker would never have allowed. Ayan's father, Jairaj tricks his father into a mental asylum to achieve this; but Ayan rises to the occasion and rescues his grandfather with the help of his friends and presence of mind.

This book discusses human relationships in a subtle way but the characterization is very strong. You would almost be able to see the story unfolding in your mind's eyes, it is so well written.

There are very few things that I didn't like, but that can be overlooked.

I will confidently give it 4 stars. 

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