Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author and The Book Club in exchange of an honest review. The views expressed herein are solely my own and there has been no monetary exchange involved.
Someone’s Always Waiting
Encounters by Sumana Khan is a collection of five short stories that are paranormal themed.
While I was reading the book and as I now sit down to pen my review of it, the one thought that fills my mind is that the stories were so normal.
The stories felt like everyday chapters from someone’s life. Like I wasn’t just reading those stories, but also feeling them. Normal and yet so paranormal!
Honestly, I cannot seem to find too many words that can describe what I feel about this book. The stories are simple and yet so powerful. For every story, I thought the beginning was so mundane and everyday. And then one moment, just one moment, that one moment which changes everything. Like a smooth curve in a smooth road. It isn’t something that takes you by surprise; you’ve infact been expecting it. So you aren’t like shaken up or surprised; you’re not jumping out of your seat. But there is no denying the chills that crawl in to the silence that surrounds you when are reading this book.
This is the first time I’m reading something by Sumana and I can say that I loved it. The stories have a very earthy and rustic feeling about them. I could feel that pull of the words; every time I read this one I could actually like I was being transported to another world-Sumana’s world, where her characters lived.
Although out of the five stories my favorite ones were Best Friends Forever and Happiness Clinic, in that order, all the stories are spooky, have that element of mystery, and are a calm in an eerie sense. Reminiscence takes the cake, however, for me.
I think it is in stories like these where the magic of words comes into play. You know what’s going to happen, you know what’s normal and what isn’t. And yet when you reach that revealing point in the the story, you cannot but help the cold of the mystery envelope you. Sumana has weaved that magic beautifully! There is a line in the book that reads, “Five minutes into the day and I was already angry; I felt a vast emptiness spread inside me.” I was totally awed by this line, because in only so many words, it brings out to you a very powerful truth! Tell me, don’t many of us feel this like half the time and are totally overwhelmed by that void?
The vocabulary used is simple and beautiful. The grammar is flawless. The prose flows at just the right pace in most places, dragging only a little in the remaining few. All in all, a reader’s delight.
If paranormal’s you genre, don’t miss this one. If it isn’t, this one’s a good start.
Sumana was born and raised in Bengaluru, Karnataka, where she went on to graduate with a BSc in Electronics, much to the surprise of her teachers, and relief of her parents. In what can only be described as a quirk of fate, she ended up as an IT consultant – a role she essayed for more than a decade. She then moved to the UK where she quit her job and pursued academic and literary interests. The result of this pursuit has been two Masters, one published book, quite a few manuscript drafts, and above all, being stone-broke perpetually.
She currently lives in the UK with her husband and several books.