Monday, 18 August 2014

Review of 'Daughter by Court Order' by 'Ratna'

Blurb: A seemingly innocent remark over an innocuous cup of tea. Aranya discovers that her family has been fighting a decade-long legal battle over her grandfather’s expansive estate, all the while not only keeping her in the dark, but also keeping her very existence out of the court’s knowledge!
A cesspool of emotions, half-truths, betrayals, and the unspooling of long buried dirty family secrets threaten to overpower Aranya and disrupt what modicum of peace and balance she has in her life as a single mother of two children. At the center of this storm is the one woman who, ever since the day Aranya was born, has had nothing but curses and abuses for her; who has deliberately kept her name out of the court; who has wished her dead for every day of her life; who refuses to now remember her birth. The woman who is her mother. Her own mother.
This is the story of a woman fighting against power, money, deceit, and treachery for her right to be recognized as a daughter.
A daughter by court order . . .

Verdict: ‘Daughter by Court Order’ is the debut work of Ratna Vira. This story is the need of the hour. How a woman struggles for her identity, how she fights for her rights is what this book is all about. This book perfectly shows what most of the women in India has to face.

The cover looks simple but will definitely push a reader to pick it and read the blurb. And the blurb is so interesting that I believe readers can hardly put it down. The name very much suits the content. When the main protagonist fight for her rights, her identity against her own family and drags them to court, no title suits better than this.

It is pretty tough to believe that how a mother abuses her child, how she curses her and doesn’t want to get her out from the incubator but that is how this books starts. Kamini the mother of Aranya aka Arnie (the main protagonist) always abused and cursed her daughter. The start was a bit indefinite and can make readers a bit unsettled but as the story moves on and starts to juggle between past and present, it becomes interesting and pacey.

The story reaches a new height when Arnie finds that her mother had deliberately left her out from the benefactors. Let alone inform her about her grandfather’s will, they had hidden her existence from the court. Arnie decides to take a stand and fight for her right or fight for her existence or fight to prove that she is the daughter of the reputed Dhari family of Delhi. The way the story sails by describing how Arnie fights in the court for her identity and still manages her two children and a house loan approaching her head.

The narrating style is good crafted with beautiful words. But at times readers might feel this book is a bit prolonged. The characters are very well described and very much relatable.  After completing the book the readers can easily say that they know each of them well.

The story line is good but can be shortened at few places. The author has chosen a direct narrative style which makes the main protagonist very much visible but I felt the rest of the characters lacked spotlights. But the wonderful message that lies behind this story line will force the readers to ignore all the flaws and complete the book in one go.

Final Words: Ratna has presented a very delicate plot in her debut work which will take readers in an emotional journey. A book that tells about child-abuse, woman-empowerment can easily be called as need of the hour.

Title: Daughter by Court Order
Author: Ratna
Publisher: Fingerprint Publishers
Page Count: 370
My Rating: 4.75/5

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