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Mapping Love by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Pages: 264
Price: Rs. 295 INR(paperback), Rs. 225 INR(Kindle edition)
ISBN: 978–9390547548
Buy here: https://amzn.to/3rSr8U2

My take on the book:

Oorja Chaturvedi is back from the United States, after her mother passed away suddenly in a tragic accident. Oorja moved to the US for studies to rebel against her strict father with whom she could never build an emotional relationship. Oorja’s world consisted only of her mother, and she has been out-of-touch with her father. Once back in her hometown, she finds her house locked and her father missing, his mobile unreachable and even her neighbors are clueless about her father’s whereabouts.

Based on her father’s handwritten note found at home and few old photographs, Oorja starts on a journey to find her father as well as one of self-discovery as she travels to Varanasi, Jim Corbet National Park, her grandfather’s house, and finally to Nainital. In this journey, Oorja meets Anang who unexpectedly inherits her grandfather’s ancestral house. Will Oorja be able to find and meet her father and what is her relationship with Anang forms the rest of the story.

At the outset, the story seems like the protagonist searching for her father, but as the story progresses the multiple layers are revealed, while maintaining the suspense till the end. What makes the story very special and engaging is the narrative style. The entire story is narrated by Oorja as the reader is taken along with her experiencing every emotion — her heartbreaks, longing for love from her father, missing her mother every moment, her loneliness, her musings. The reader meets Oorja’s parents as well as other characters through her point of view only.

Oorja is not perfect or flawless, she can be fickle and acting in the moment, assumes things without clarifying, strong and vulnerable at the same time; and that makes her real and a relatable character. The poems in the book are simple but deep. The analogy between nature and human life is constant throughout the story which provides meaningful insights into the ways of life. It is definitely not enough to read the book once to grasp the essence of the story.

The story touches on abusive relationships, dysfunctional families and how the scars and trauma might affect individuals for a lifetime, and how only love can help us move forward in life even in the darkest of situations.

My rating:


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