WRITING STYLE: 2.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 2.5/5
What is the book all about?
Frailty and Valour is a drama which, on one hand, celebrates today’s women while on the other, values traditional family and societal norms. The central theme of the book can be best summed up as “embracing the present while valuing the past”.
The story as it goes
Prashant and Priya, an elderly couple are traveling to Delhi. A chance encounter brings them closer to a young and talented police officer, Anamika Singh. During their stay in Delhi, they realize that there is more to the story of Anamika than what meets the eye.
Prashant then gets a chance to peep into Anamika’s past. He learns that Anamika has had a tough life. As Prashant starts reading Anamika’s diary, her past is laid bare to the reader. In a journey which is filled with hardships, struggles, scandals, and betrayals, Anamika surprises us all with her writ and determination. Frailty and Valour is her story and Prashant’s attempt to solve the mystery that is her life.
The plot and the writing style
The plot of Frailty and Valour is a decent one. Almost the entire story is told in flashback through the means of a diary. The writing style of the author is okay. He uses a rich language but at many times it unnecessarily complicates the narration. The book is full of complicated words which unfortunately do not add to the story or to the reading pleasure. I would have preferred if the story was told in a more reader-friendly language. At many points, the story felt a tad unrealistic – the behavior of the main characters, the overwhelming goodness of most of them, their conversations with each other, their snoopy but shockingly acceptable behavior were all hard to believe.
Anamika is the main and the strongest character in the book. Her present is aloof and her past is a mystery. From the very beginning, Anamika’s character shows signs of courage and resilience. As a daughter of a middle-class family, her ambitions are high. In the small world of Pandey Niwas (a nursing home premises) she makes herself indispensable from a very young age. She takes care of all, works hard, and dispels all attempts of endearment from the opposite sex. In her later life, after tragedy strikes her at every step, she never backs down and continues to work towards her goals.
Though there were many other characters in the book, none were as charismatic as Anamika. A few notable mentions include Prashant, Dr. Priya, Dr. Seema and, Dr. Shashi.
What did I like?
Anamika’s character and her achievements despite all her life struggles were a good inspiration. I also enjoyed the way this book celebrates and salutes women. Reading about the spirit of brotherhood and fraternity which still survives in small-town India is another thing which I loved about Frailty and Valour. All the residents of Pandey Niwas live together in perfect harmony and thrive together as a community.
What did I not like?
I did not like the way the book is full of editing errors. I am not usually the one to pinpoint minor mistakes, but there were just too many of them to ignore. Also, the initial chapters where a lot of new characters were introduced were very confusing. I felt there were more characters in the book than were actually required. Another thing which could have been avoided was the insipid descriptions of the many buildings, structures, and areas of the Pandey Niwas premises.
Entertainment quotient and the final verdict
Overall, though the book tells us an inspiring story it cannot be called an entertaining read. The story moves at a slow pace and most of the book is monotonous and dull with little incentive for the reader to continue reading. The mystery quotient in Frailty and Valour also comes too late and is solved too easily.
Who should pick it?
Frailty and Valour will appeal to readers who
- Believe in old school/traditional values
- Don’t read many books
- Can tolerate editing mistakes
Who should skip it?
Frailty and Valour will not appeal to people who look for realistic plots and stories and who do not appreciate editing mistakes.
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