Girls and the City by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Price: Rs. 399 INR(Paperback), Rs. 240 INR(Kindle Edition)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/2IdbaSl
My take on the book:
Leela Lakshmi, Reshma Talwar, Juhi Jha are consultants hired from different firms to work on a project for Royal Foods, Bengaluru to revamp their sales. Leela is a single mother to a four-year-old Nayanika(Nani) who rented part of Mrs Rao’s bungalow. Juhi has moved to the city from Unnao, Kanpur on her first job, so did Reshma who was away from home for the first time. Kieren a senior executive from the US, originally from India, leads this team.
As the city receives very heavy rainfall and unexpected flooding, there is a dead body found. Police start investigating the death to ascertain if it is an accidental death or a murder. Who actually passed away on that uneventful night and what caused it forms the rest of the story.
The story starts with Mrs Rao noticing some commotion outside her house as the city submerges in rain and floods and probably someone’s death amidst this chaos, and then story moves into a flashback as events from the past six months start unfolding. The suspense is well maintained till the end as the identity of the dead person is kept under wraps. The three young women have their own secrets and demons from past which they try to leave behind to pursue their careers. However, as highlighted by the conversations during the interrogation, everyone who knew these women only pass judgement and their regressive comments.
Through the protagonists, the author highlights the impression society has towards independent, working women, even in metro cities. The story also portrays the corporate work culture very realistically — the work pressure, peer attitude, the perks and the ugly side of success. The practical issues faced by single mothers, harassment faced by young women are sensibly showcased — without dramatizing or getting preachy. I also liked how author showed distinction between the male and female characters — even though hard working and equally talented, the women protagonists lacked the confidence to take lead at work.
Juhi, Leela and Reshma all of them have equal footage in the story; the cover design is apt and impressive. Bengaluru is not just a backdrop for the story, the city plays a parallel character all through. The narration style is impeccable though the middle portion drags a bit.
Contemporary, realistic, hard-hitting — Girls and the City is an urban saga with a good mix of entertainment and suspense.
This review is part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program. https://www.theblogchatter.com/book-review-program-from-blogchatter