Monday, January 12, 2015

The Crossover Year by Bhargavi Balachandran

Name of the Book :  The Crossover Year
Author :Bhargavi Balachandran
Pages:  250 Pages
Publisher: Alchemy Publishers
Buy @
Amazon

The Story....
As you can see I have not used my usual format of introducing the He and the She section in this review. For there are no other protags in this story other than  Sri Anu Prabha. Written in first person, Anu takes us through the journey of her life - from being a working woman to a housewife. I could relate to Anu to a large extend. How many of us can say that as a woman being a housewife or a working woman is completely satisfactory?

When you are a working woman, not only do you have to deal with the idiosyncrasies of the men in the office but also have the nagging guilt conscious of not being a perfect housewife. [ I feel this should be my personal space for ranting. But then it will be a novel by itself .. grrrumph!!!]

Anu comes across very real. In fact, the author has not at done anything to show her as a perfect woman. She is a woman with faults, with desires, ambitions, ability to make errors and defend herself when caught - while making those errors. 

Anu is introduced to the readers as a working woman - struggling to please an idiotic boss. When she looses her job, not only is she faced with questions like why she does not have a child,but she also has to take stalk of what actually she wants from her life. There is always a difference between a housewife and a working woman. In every gathering a working woman will not leave a chance to rub the housewife with her job while a housewife will retaliate by show offing her culinary skills or her kids, especially if the working woman does not have kids. Bhargavi has brought out this very beautifully. 

In the course of discovering herself, Anu meets many characters. Each character changes her life a bit and pushes her towards her destiny. One character that left a lasting impression on me was Ajay. Though they were not romantically involved, his appearance in her life made Anu grow as a person. For better or worse - that is for you to find out. 

Rating


Reasoning

I really liked the story. It is something every working woman goes through. My peeves with this story are firstly the voice of the narrator. It is too colloquial. While it might work for many. Since Anu is from Chennai, India and I don't expect her to have a British or American accent but when I read an English book I would prefer the voice in my head to have an English intonation. 

Another thing I felt a bit confused about is at times Anu really seemed muddled up - regarding what exactly she wants in life. I understand she was not getting a job and being out of the work force suddenly one might take up odd jobs. But on the other hand she seemed very gathered in her thoughts but her nature comes across a bit aggressive while dealing with her office environment - specially when she goes for interviews.

Her married life has a lot of ambiguity - did the author remove Mukund, her hubby, from the scene just to progress with the story and then conveniently drop him back to tie up the loose ends?

What I felt was the inner conflicts of Anu were very sublime as compared to the outer conflicts she faced. She did not have a personal problem. Nothing should have stunted her growth career wise. If there was a MIl problem or Hubby Problem or any personal problem which she had to face as  a housewife maybe then her character would have come out much stronger. Even when her name came out in the tabloid where she talks about.

Would I Recommend ?
It is definitely a one time read. Specially for women who are in this situation where one has to juggle between a career and family. So there you are.. more than half the population of the world please pick this book up :)

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