PLOT: 2.5/5
CLIMAX: 2.5/5

From Emptiness to Happiness narrates the story of a compassionate and impulsive anaesthesiologist, Dr. Riya, and her tryst with love. She is passionate about her work and works for the betterment of her patients.

Riya meets Samith and through their story, the reader gets a glimpse into the lives of medical professionals, their doubts, insecurities and decisions. The story goes on to describe Riya’s struggles in both the personal and professional space and how she tries to overcome them.

From Riya’s perspective, the overall functioning of a medical institution, and more specifically, the activities and emotions within the Operating Room are also portrayed.

In the second half, the author, Dr. Sandhya Mohan, explains the reasons behind Riya’s complications and how she reacts when she realizes her medical condition.

From Emptiness to Happiness then delves into the question: whether she overcomes these hurdles or lets history repeat itself. What are the hurdles in her life? What happened in her past? It is for the readers to unveil themselves.

Being an anaesthesiologist herself, Sandhya Mohan could recount the events within an operating room well. In fact, the story revolved mostly around the Operating Table, literally and figuratively.

The author also discussed on how a professional deals with the unsatisfactory pay, conflict with colleagues, internal politics and work pressure as well as the personal pressure that comes with decisions regarding further studies, marriage and settlement.

Overall, it is based on the medical environment and the people within. What I liked about From Emptiness to Happiness is that as it was from an anaesthesiologist point of view, I really liked how the protagonist described every emotion medically thus being in character thoroughly.

The first half of the book was not much fascinating; however, the second part did promise some vital details in the life of Riya to come to light. The plot of From Emptiness to Happiness lacked originality. Medical drama and attraction between colleagues have been a common theme in many books and television series already. So, the book lacked the surprise element which could have differentiated it from other similar stories.

The title of the book was vague; it did not relate strongly to the plot. The writing style could have been better as most of the dialogues seemed typical and tasteless. For instance, “… coloured my black and white life and life became interesting…” sounded cliché, an expression common in many Indian romantic set-ups.

Many medical terminologies were used throughout From Emptiness to Happiness and the respective gist is provided in certain cases for the convenience of the readers. However, in many instances it was absent, making it difficult for a layman like me, who is bereft of the knowledge of the medical know-how, to understand a particular situation.

Also, the climax of the book was not extraordinary in any sense. It ended as abruptly as it started.

Lastly, I would say that From Emptiness to Happiness is about devoted and enthusiastic medical professionals and their steering towards romance amidst the high pressures of timetables, surgeries and hectic workload in the competitive world of medicine.

So, if you ask me, I will recommend it to a medical professional who can highly relate to the plot and the characters.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of From Emptiness to Happiness using the link below.