Book Review: The Nine Chambered Heart by Janice Pariat
Books on love are available dime a dozen in India. Unknown writers have shot to fame and built careers by selling the mushy-formulaic romance that tugs at the heartstrings of college crowds. Romance is a genre that sells – dynamics of relationships intrigue readers like no other.
To describe ‘The Nine Chambered Heart’ by Janice Pariat as a book on love would be like trying to describe love in a word. It is near to impossible, and everyone would have a different interpretation. The book is a kaleidoscope of emotions, a profoundly illuminating tale about a woman.
The book has 10 chapters. In nine of those, nine characters recall their relationship with this same woman. We get to know about her through their memories. Their stories breathe life into her. Every encounter we have in our lives leaves a mark in our being, and in this book that momentary imprint takes us closer to the personality of the protagonist.
The success of Janice Pariat’s book is not in what she writes, but in what she chooses not to. The slivers give us an insight into the ever-changing identity of the girl, who falls in love. The events take place in familiar, nameless cities, moving between east and west. From the art teacher in school to another woman in university – the girl experiences love in all its forms.
The book personally appealed to me because I have recently fallen out of love, and I have loved men of varied hues in the past. Every relationship has a bearing on our personalities – and we retain memories from them. It so happens that a random line of lyric of a song may remind you of your first crush, or a movie may bring back memories of a loved one who is no longer in our lives.
‘The Nine Chambered Heart’ is a must-read for anyone who has been in love, and has been madly in love with the concept of ‘being in love’. Janice Pariat’s book makes for a delectable journey of self-discovery through the written word.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
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P.S. This review is part of the Flipkart Bloggers’ Affiliate Programme