WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
“Half Burnt Cigarette and a Little Love Note” is basically the tale of a woman who is torn between two relationships, each important to her.
She decides to marry the one who had supported her throughout her graduation and loves her deeply but again, she can’t forget the man she loved and lost, that left her bare and heartbroken.
Now, stuck in a hushed medical campus without much work at hand, the silence suffocates her and her past haunts her. The question arises as to what she should do to save herself from this deterioration: choose to stay with the one who ensures love and security or to go for the one who transmits the vibes of a modern, electrified, fast-paced relation.
“Half Burnt Cigarette and a Little Love Note” is the beautiful story of Vaani and the journey she embarks on in her life. Sahil loves her and is careful not to bereave her of her personal requirements whereas Akash and Vaani share a special bond and when Akash leaves her it creates a lacuna in Vaani’s life. This emptiness expands as loneliness and negativity engulf her after marriage, curbing her strength to stay strong.
In such a situation, what does one do? The book delves on this premise while also deliberating on various matters. A commentary on love and relationships in modern times, it is set across two different cities of India, that is Lucknow and Hyderabad, which gives the reader a glimpse of the different traditions and the cultural background of India.
The author, Vandita Mishra, reflects on the changing trends in love and relationship among individuals who, in the haste at leading their lives or building careers or due to certain wounds of the past, take certain decisions that can have life-changing consequences.
In a way, “Half Burnt Cigarette and a Little Love Note” is a portrayal of love in modern times and the complications that may arise, as is evident through the cover art.
The main character was believable and to a large extent relatable. The supporting characters too had significant roles in the story. The narrative was realistic and even, thrilling at times.
I loved the use of the imagery of a half burnt cigarette and a sweet love note which had its relevant role in the story and can be comprehended by the readers through their own perspectives.
The author’s message rings true throughout the book that relationships are precious, it requires nurture and care and understanding. People may make mistakes in their lives, but that only makes one a better version of oneself.
Although it is a work of fiction, it has captured various social concerns like the connection between health and poverty as well as serious issues like eve-teasing and treatment of women at the workplace.
It contemplates the real essence of a relationship and I like the author’s treatment of the subject. It can be added that this book has provided a reflection on the varied problems faced by women in real life.
There has also been a discussion on the case of mental health and, on depression, more specifically. It is a sensitive topic that requires strict attention so as to try and eradicate the negative consequences that flow out of such condition. Overall, I liked the premise of the book and even more, the climax.
It is a story of a strong and independent woman who faces her demons and even defeats them. “Half Burnt Cigarette and a Little Love Note” has a good vibe of positivity all the way through the book.
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