2015 has been a year of surprises. People you have known in certain roles have broken the glass ceiling and have reinvented themselves in new avatar. We have witnessed new trends, matured over bitter-sweet experience and grown wiser, thanks to books.
End of the year was sensational, to say the least, thanks to Blogadda who chose me to review Ravi Subramanian’s latest novel ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’. We have known Ravi Sir as a thriller writer who took us into the dark abysses of the banking world. With his latest work, he has turned a new leaf – The Bestseller She Wrote explores relationships, the backroom happenings of the publishing business and above all, love.
Written in Ravi Subramanian’s usual lucid style, The Bestseller She Wrote is a gripping read (I finished the book at one go during a 10 hour train journey). A classy page turner, the book opens on a slow note as we are acquainted with the characters. But as the novel gets steamier, the pace picks up and slowly the ‘thrill factor’ grips you.
The Bestseller She Wrote – needless to point out – is about a book, a bestseller that Shreya wants to publish. In her final year at a prestigious MBA institute, she is one of those readers who looks down upon the current breed of authors in India who write in English. She abhors the idea of commodification of books and marketing them as any other product. This is until she meets Aditya Kapoor, the reigning king of literary circles.
As Shreya is introduced to Aditya Kapoor’s works, she is smitten by him. A bond develops and finally their relationship turns into a full blown affair (spoiler alert). Aditya, in turn, feels guilty of cheating on his wife Maya and his son. He is torn between his family and his bond with Shreya.
So far this sounds like a mushy Ekta Kapoor plot, right? You must be wondering where the thrill in this love triangle is. You are forgetting about one key character in this plot – the book Shreya has penned. The centre of the entire storm, this book will finally be the pivot that will be the clue to the mystery integral to Ravi Sir’s narrative.
In short, The Bestseller She Wrote is a story of love, betrayal, deceit, obsession and ambition. There are moments in the book you will really adore – that sequence where Aditya and Shreya debate about books being marketed as products, or the sly reference to Chetan Bhagat judging a dance reality show. The description of ‘foreplay’ when Shreya visits Aditya’s place for dinner was sensuous.
However, the romance in the narrative was lacking. Parts of it felt like ‘been there, done that’. The writing could have been more passionate. The ‘Ebola’ angle was also very filmy and the sequence where Aditya’s ‘prayers’ bring back Maya from near death was too melodramatic. Towards the end, when things suddenly start falling in place, that too very easily, it is a little too much to take.
However, one must laud Ravi Subramanian for taking the leap of faith and taking a break from writing another banking thriller. The Bestseller She Wrote is honest, and that is what I love about this book.
My Rating: 3/5 stars
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