Book: Just You, Me and a Secret
Author: Ganga Bharani
Publisher: Tales4 Publications
Publication Year: 2013
Book Cover: Intriguing
Pages: Paperback, 168 pages
The title of the book promises a secret, and delivers it in the first paragraph itself.“Just you, me and a secret” starts with a gripping mystery, a secret not only unknown to the reader, but to the protagonist, Meera as well. The author has achieved a remarkable feat of captivating the attention of the reader with the first few lines. As the story progresses, you are engulfed with the need to know more about Meera’s past as much as Meera herself. It is a page-turner, hard to put down.
The story begins as comatose Meera wakes up with retrograde amnesia occurred as a result of an accident. She has completely lost the trace of her past. Now, she is in a strange place with a stranger named Ashruth who tells her that she was in love with him. He also tells her that they were supposed to get married. Meera fails to relate with this story, and tries to learn more about her past. As she starts reading about her past(from her diary), her doubts are cleared, but the mystery deepens. Is Ashruth telling the truth? How did she lose her memory? Can she break away from the past towards a different future?
Ganga has beautifully described Meera’s post traumatic turmoil, her distrust of a strange place and her desire for a familiar face. Meera realizes that she may have completely forgotten the past, but it isn’t easy to break free of it. There is Ashruth, who is constantly reminding her of the love she had for him. However, in the present she can’t even manage to like him. Meera desperately wants to understand why she would love a unlikeable guy like Ashruth. She wants to know the girl she once was. She can’t let go her old diary (Claire) which is her only source of information about the past except Ashruth.
I loved the description of her first meeting with her mother. She doesn’t recognize her mother but clings to the idea of a mother, because she needed to release her suppressed feelings, to cry her heart out.
With her meeting with Santosh, the story develops into a fast-paced thriller with many unexpected twists and turns that keep you guessing till the end. This is where, I was a little disappointed. I loved the twists and the ending too, but I didn’t get the expected closure. Is there a part two coming?
The essence of any book is in the writing style of the book, and not the plot. This novel not only has a good plot, but also an engaging writing style. Ganga certainly has an original voice, and she has managed to use short, simple sentences effectively. This simple sentence structuring complements the character of Meera, who is the POV character. The story has uniform continuity throughout the plot, and there is clear demarcation between the past and the present life of Meera, ruling out any confusion.
Ganga has beautifully etched the character of Meera, of the past as well as the present. Santosh is also a well-developed, and likable character. The character of Ashruth is unidimensional, and lacks depth. The minor characters,except for Meera’s father, aren’t much described to get a complete picture of their characters.
It is an interesting book, worth reading. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves suspense.
You can also read the sample chapters of the book online before buying at GB Land.
* I won this book in a contest, and I’m delighted that I took part in the contest (and won :D). This is one of the best prizes, I ever won.