What is it about a mother that manages to move us everytime? Swati Kumari’s debut novel “Without A Goodbye” answers this question convincingly.
When I read the title of the novel, I assumed it would be yet another love story. But I was thankfully proven wrong when I read the synopsis.
The story describes the poignant tale of Danica and her mother Aarti, depicting both their lives in detail. Danica is all set to appear for her competitive exams in Patna. She has a talk with her mother before going inside the exam hall. However after she comes out, she is unable to contact her mother.
The entire family searches for her, but she just seems to have vanished. What happened to her? Where did she go? Is she alive or not? These questions trouble everyone, before finally the truth is revealed. What was the truth and what circumstances led to it forms the crux of the story.
Well, the author keeps the language pretty simple. Infact at times the language is so simple that it could have been a bit more on the higher side. Swati maintains a first person record throughout the book – first as herself, later describing Danica’s account and inbetween her mother’s story. This idea of narrating everyone’s story in her own point of view is very well done.
I liked the basic plot of the story. Unlike all the novels these days who, taking a cue from Chetan Bhagat, are writing shitty love stories, this novel is a welcome change. It is a love story, but between a mother and a daughter.
One more thing I liked is the detailing. The bond between Danica and her mother is not the routine mother – daughter bond. It is a much more intimate bond, the intimacy escalated due to a failed marriage. When the man of the house is the bad guy, the woman automatically tends to get more close to her children – it is human tendency. And that is depicted pretty well by Swati.
Swati also displays emotions well. There is never an overdose of anything – be it joy or sorrow. She shows how people react under normal circumstances, sans any exaggeration. There are times when something terrible happens to you, but you are so dazed that you don’t understand whether to cry or shout. Swati depicts such situations in the book very deftly.
The ending is one more thing I loved. Although filmy, it provides the needed boost towards the end. It reaffirms our faith in goodness.
As I mentioned, the language is pretty simple. But at times, it is very amateurish. There are even grammatical errors. They are minor ones but need correction.
Also, Swati depicts this whole joint family in too detail. For those who are used to it, this is not a problem, but for many, it might get confusing. At times, I found it difficult to catch up with all the characters. There are too many mama-mamis, masa-masis, etc.
Overall, “Without a goodbye” is definitely a book worth reading. It is a light read and describes the mother – daughter bond beautifully. I definitely felt proud of my parents while reading this book.
Also, this is a book with which many moms and many daughters will be able to relate.
It is a story which only a woman could have penned. Good job Swati Kumari.