Love, Again is a novella comprising of two short stories: These Lines of Mehendi by Sumeetha Manikandan and A Tulip in the Desert by Shrruti Patole Clarence.
These lines of Mehendi is the story of Lalitha, recently widowed at the young age of 29 by the suicide of her estranged husband of ten years. To save the beauty parlor she runs with her aunt Padma, she enters into a marriage of convenience with Shrikanth. Lalitha has been hurt immensely in the past and isn’t looking for love again, lest it becomes a thorn in her path again. The same holds true for Shrikanth.
I liked the story. It is a simple tale of love and betrayal. Without endlessly dragging things, Sumeetha has told a tale of overwhelming emotions with conviction. The characters of Shrikanth and Lalitha are beautifully written and stole my heart immediately.
The only glitch with this story is that Lalitha has been referred to so much in the pronoun. This ended up confusing me as the reader because very often the preceding line referred to some other female. And the next sentence addressed Lalitha in pronoun, sometimes making it difficult to understand who the author is talking about.
But other than this, I found the story to be simple, beautiful, well-written, and well-paced.
Coming to the next story, A Tulip in the Desert. This is the story of a group of universty student in Amsterdam staging a play on the lives of Queen Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. The story build up with startling revelations of their past as they gear up to play their parts. Full points to the author here for her imagination. I haven’t read many books based on this idea, so this one was refreshingly welcomed. It is a well thought out story and decently paced.
Shruti has pretty much done justice to her ideas and thought process. The use of vocabulary is good. On her part, Shruti has also done her research on the lives of Cleopatra and Antony decently well.
In some places however, the transition from flashbacks to the present day isn’t very clear. Also, in a lot of places Antony and Anthony have been used interchangeably, which is sort of wince-evoking.
Overall, though, I think Love, Again is a compilation of two heart-touching stories and if you are an out and out comfort book fan, you could try this one out.
I give this book a 4/5.
Disclaimer: I received a PDF copy of this eBook as part of the blog tour organized by The Book Club, in exchange for an honest review. There has been no monetary compensation involved herein.