These two fiction titles will consume you even as you devour them! These are our top two books this month.
The Giver of Stars
Jojo Moyes (Penguin Random House, Rs 699)
Novelist and journalist Jojo Moyes is so prolific churning out gripping, soul-satisfying books year on year, one suspects she has a personal genie in a bottle by her writing table. Her latest, The Giver of Stars, will appeal to lovers of historical fiction. Set in Depression-era America, the novel follows the lives of five courageous women in Kentucky who sign up to deliver books to countryfolk as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new travelling library. But things don’t go smoothly, for a woman with a book on a horse is as potent a symbol of defiance as can get in a conservative, racist, patriarchal land. The book makes you laugh and cry and everything in between, and lingers in your head weeks on. Yet another winner.
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
Deepa Anappara (Penguin Random House, Rs 499)
First novels are like Forrest Gump’s famous box of chocolates: You never know what you’re going to get. Journalist Deepa Anappara’s debut, however, hits all the sweet spots and then some. Set in a shantytown in or around Delhi, the protagonist, 10-year-old Jai, sets out to solve the mystery of children going missing from his neighbourhood. Optimistic and innocent, his truthful observations of life in a slum are touching and haunting. His well-meaning quest, however, is soon overtaken by darker undercurrents of politics, religious polarisation and crime. Coming from the pen of a journalist who has reported on poverty and communal violence, the book tears open all stereotypes, splattering all your privileges in your face.
First published in eShe’s February 2020 issue