Monday, July 28, 2014

The Deliberate Sinner - Book review

The Deliberate Sinner – Book Review
Book:  The Deliberate Sinner
Author: Bhaavna Arora
Number of Pages: 148

The Deliberate Sinner is the story of Rihana, an adventurous and free spirited girl who marries Veer, an eligible bachelor from a wealthy family. Almost immediately after accepting Veer’s proposal, Rihana starts fearing that Veer and she are very different individuals whose needs and priorities in life are strikingly dissimilar.

Bowing to the family and societal pressures, she goes ahead and marries Veer. However, she soon finds the going tough with Veer after marriage and realizes that he is insensitive to her physical and emotional needs. Unable to find any happiness in her marriage, Rihana now decides to walk out of her marriage and divorce Veer. How she manages to find freedom fighting the pressure from her family and society and ends up being The Deliberate Sinner forms the rest of the story.

The book is an easy read like most of the books by the new generation Indian writers. Although, the modern Indian woman is changing with times, she still has to mold her life according to what her family or her husband decides. The author Bhaavna Arora connects to the modern Indian woman by placing her protagonist Rihana in exactly the same situation – where she wants to live a life of her choice but is burdened by the worries of her mother and demands of her husband.

The author is successful in terms of expressing the conflict that Rihana goes through trying to be the good traditional married wife and still fulfilling her physical and emotional needs. Thankfully, Rihana chooses what is important for her rather than sticking with her husband and doing what her family and society wanted her to do.

As a reader, I found it surprising that a rich, adventurous and a free spirited girl like Rihana turned very accommodating and adjusting by nature once she got married.  When I pondered over it, I felt that the same thing happens in the outside world in our country where a girl who lives the life of princess before marriage is often forced to conform to the norms of the society and the requirements of her husband and family. The author does a good job conveying this message through her story.

I was not too sure if the book should have been titled ‘The Deliberate Sinner’.  In order to find her freedom keeping her family and mother happy, Rihana ends up planning an escape route and call herself the ‘Deliberate Sinner’.  What Rihana did was the best thing to get out of the mess she is in and this act can’t be a sin. At least, she shouldn't be calling it a sin. There would have been some guilt when Rihana did what she did to be a free bird, but calling herself a Sinner even a deliberate the book ends  on a negative note. 

The fact that book is titled with the same name puts the protagonist in a more negative shade than what she deserves. May be this is why the author has a message on the first page which says ‘Hate the Sin Not the Sinner’. Unfortunately, this is the feeling of guilt that an Indian woman has to go through in such a situation and maybe that’s the reason for the title.

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