Book: The Hidden Letters
Author: Purba Chakraborty
Publisher: Blue Jay Publishers
Publication Year: 2013
Book Cover: Apt.
Pages: Paperback, 200 pages
The book cover gives the gist of the book; it portrays the soul of a woman, a mixture of beauty, love, and pain. The Hidden letters is a woman’s journey- her struggle to achieve her husband’s love, daughter’s adulation, her professional goals, and at the same time to be true to herself. To reach where she is, she has to go through many trials in life, which have made her stronger. It is not a story of romance; it runs much deeper than that, through the lanes of sacrifices and betrayal in the search of that elusive emotion called love.
A successful author, a loving wife and mom- Anaya has everything. Yet, she isn’t happy. Her mental peace is lost due to a bunch of hidden letters kept in her cupboard. The letters are written by her cousin, presently at a mental asylum in Kolkata. She decides to put an end to her misery by surrendering the letters to her husband. Will she lose her husband’s love and her daughter’s respect? Can they ever forgive her? More importantly, can she forgive herself?
Anaya is essentially a modern woman- someone who has to balance her professional life while maintaining the responsibility of caring for her family. Life hasn’t been easy for her. She had to earn her husband’s love, and her daughter’s respect. Striving for her family’s welfare, and following her dreams at the same time requires sacrifice. Most of the times, she sacrifices herself. Once, she sacrifices someone else.
Thereafter, the happiness which follows is tinged with guilt. Like every other human being, she has made mistakes, but Anaya has the courage to face her mistake, and be true to herself. Even when facing the prospect of losing everything in life, she chooses to confront her past, and shows the hidden letters to her husband.
The plot revolves around Anaya, Nishith, and Varsha. Purba has managed to convey the depth behind Anaya’s actions, as also Nishith’s reactions. Through Varsha, she has presented another set of difficulties a woman has to face. (I can’t write much about Varsha without giving away spoilers.)The character of Olivia (Anaya’s daughter) is the one I liked most. Whatever the age of a child, the child always suffers when there are disputes among the couple.
The story, which is a little slow in the beginning, gains pace as the plot unfolds. It moves back, and forth between Anaya’s past, and the present giving us a glimpse of Anaya as she was earlier, and her relationships with Nishith and Varsha.
Purba writes vividly describing every detail. She has handled a delicate topic with maturity so rare for someone her age.
Few quotes from Hidden Letters:
“As victor or vanquished, a woman keeps fighting the sequence of odds and evens throughout her life.”
“Writing is a sort of meditation for me; when I write, I can sense the purity in my soul which I can otherwise never feel.”
The Hidden letters is essentially a women’s fiction with a dash of mystery. This doesn’t mean that it is only for women. In fact, men should read it to understand the worth of women in their life.
*Received the book as a raffle win. 🙂