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My Rating - 3 out of 5 stars

Publisher - Notion Press
Genre - Fiction
Publishing year - 2020
Language - English
ISBN - 978-1-64951-691-6
Pages - 260 

My Review - 

Gauri is a debut book written by Sathya Sam, who is a blogger and artist. He devotes this book to all the women who strive in their conjugal lives, especially Indian women. The story is a work of fiction, but it is relatable on multiple levels if you were ever given attention to the struggles a woman faces in her entire lifetime. 

The protagonist Gauri and Shiva fell in love, and they married without the blessing of Shiva's parents. His family dynamics and atmosphere is toxic. His father, Pratap, is jobless and torture Saranya, Shiva's mother. They live at the mercy of Saranya's maternal side when it comes to financial matters. Shiva's uncle Ajay has the upper hand in Shiva and Gauri's wedding because he helped Shiva's sister's matrimony. 

They boycotted and cursed them. Also made them feel guilty about their choices, isn't it ironic? Whenever a person tries to think about his/her happiness, parents and relatives stand as a wall, question every decision, and try to undermine the joyous moments as much as they can. Why? Just because they find their life partner without going through a standard procedure. Sometimes I feel that the Indian progenitor's reasoning is more complicated than the black holes. 

Both the characters have their fair share of struggles, but they find solace in each other's company until one day, Shalini came into their life. She was Shiva's student pursuing MTech from CVR College. She considers Shiva as a father figure, but their conversation gives the vibe of something else to me. Then start all the lying and hiding, which creates trouble in paradise. 

Shiva and Gauri married for a long time, but they were unable to conceive. His family story is similar to Shalini's, and it brought them closer. Shalini fulfills the vacuum left by Shiva's family, and he starts depending on her emotionally. Being a professor having any kind of relationship with a student will land you in trouble sooner or later, and Gauri knows that. She tries to make Shiva understands, but I feel that he is entirely absurd. 

Gauri's character didn't surprise me at all because this is what happens in Indian marriages mostly. No matter how educated a woman is, she always succumbs to his husband's needs and happiness. Most of the time, women forget that marriage is a two-person job, and men rarely pay attention to this fact. That's why women live millions of lives and performed various characters, as the subtitle suggests, or are they forced to?

Shalini's persona seems clingy from the outset. Maybe she was genuinely involved with Shiva, but after a certain point, it seems clear that she will not be going to last for a long time; as the story marches, Sathya Sam depicts her as an emotionally detached person.

Gauri and Shiva's mothers are also portrayed as weak and dependent on their husbands. No matter how badly they were treated in the house, they still stand by them. Male domination starts at home, and then it reaches other places. Shiva's siblings never utter a word; when they saw how badly their father treated their mother, they just turned blind and deaf to the whole scenario. Imagine how they will turn out and treat their partners or what they will do if they saw something evil occurs in a public place. They will stand there and watch the show, just like they do in their own families. 

The story has a few twists and turns that make it enjoyable, but the end disappoints me, not because it was a felicitous ending, but I felt that Gauri should choose her path and not waste her time on someone ignorant as Shiva. The story has some grammatical flaws that I always find if the publisher is Notion Press. They seriously need to change their proof-readers. Apart from this, it is a fast-paced fiction story that will help you ponder the sacrifices a woman made. I recommend it. 

Grab your copy from - Amazon IN Amazon US

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