New Delhi: Stories of powerful female leads, explored in a variety of contexts and evocative of a whole spectrum of emotions, make for good reads, just as the country is getting more and more active post the lockdown.
Apart from the classics, here is a list you can choose from.
‘Mother at Nineteen’ by Gulista Chaudhary
Gulista Chaudhary’s ‘Mother at Nineteen’ is a tale of love, sacrifice, friendship, relationship and foremost- motherhood. The plot revolves around the decisions that we make in life can make or break relationships.
Aashna made a decision of being a 19 year old, unmarried mother. Little did she know that she’ll break all other relationships in the process. The author is a dynamic speaker and a personality development coach. She drew inspiration for writing this book from her personal life and also facing ideologies of the male dominant world.
‘Endurer’ by Kapil Raj
Kapil Raj’s ‘Endurer’ is a heart-rending story of a girl, whose beliefs and horror has been battered, stands up to make choices, rediscovering the meaning of life. The story revolves around Palak who is the epitome of beauty and charisma and lives a privileged life.
She attends a reputed institution of higher learning, has a group of close friends, and is the object of admiration and desire. Nothing was right or wrong in her world. Life was a fun fed roller coaster.
Newfound love, drugs, cat-fights, patch-ups, crushes, night hangouts, and unplanned trips, she was experiencing whatever passed her way. Her exploration goes too far when she attends a rave party. She wakes up to the horror of finding herself raped.
‘The Anatomy of Choice’ by Harshali Singh
Harshali Singh’s ‘The Anatomy of Choice’ talks about whether choice is really a possibility for women. The story revolves around Bhavya Sharma, the second offspring of the Sharma family that inhabits a large historical haveli near Chandni Chowk in Delhi, with its mysterious mausoleum.
This is the second novel in the ‘Haveli series’. ‘If you can’t handle me at your worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best’, this quote attributed to Marilyn Monroe applies to this novel’s pivotal character Bhavya equally if not more.
The strength of this dual narrative lies in creating a fascinating plot where the internal and external conflicts of her two protagonists, Bhavya and Noorie, are juxtaposed. The story also complex subjects such as polyamory and amorality, and normalizes them. The themes of love, separation, loss of honour, rebellion, sacrifice, sorrow, and catharsis are present in the story.
‘5 Minutes’ by Vrinda Singh
Vrinda Singh’s ‘5 minutes’ is a thriller. Just like riding on a roller coaster, reading this book alternates between making you feel excited and exhilarated, happy and sad, disappointed and desperate, in just 5 minutes.
What makes this book worth reading is the author’s collection of various real-life incidents jotted down into subtle 16 chapters which are fast paced, grounded in reality, adrenaline soaked, grab you by the feels, keep-you-guessing, intriguing, completely unexpected, heart-breaking yet hopeful and a crazy read on the wild side.
The author started the story as a thriller and also ended like one but what happens in the middle is exactly what carries the readers through ways of engaging with whirlwind of emotions, confusion, drama, pain and love.
‘Mirage’ By Nilakshi Garg
Nilakshi’s ‘Mirage’ is the new- age story of the female tattoo artist, Bethany Carlson, operating her tattoo parlour in Chicago, Illinois. She is the protagonist of this story. She has seen quite a lot of nasty ups and downs in her life.
But we will get to know about it much later. Because of her earlier life, she has not found anyone to trust to date. This is all before she is forced to attend her college’s Alumni party alone. There she meets, the oh-so-handsome, Gerald Fletcher. He is a very straight forward man and from there the story unfolds.