WRITING STYLE: 4.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
The basic premise of most love stories, either it is a tragedy or a happy one, is the same. There are certain indispensable fundamentals which, at their core, do not change much; two people in love, cheesy romantic scenes, fights and quarrels, certain unfavourable external forces. And readers have accepted it too. The authors can’t be blamed either because love stories have very little scope for experimentation. Even with all these limitations, the writing community has tried out different variations – paranormal romance, historical romance, erotica, etc. Howard Roark’s Newton’s Law Reversed is one such attempt at writing a romantic novel with a difference and, more or less, Howard has been successful with this tryout.
“Such a sweet bitch you are! Never retiring before blowing my ego out. And those eyes! Is that what they would call starry-eyed? Sparkling eyes? Oh, come on, bozo! Even your eyes would sparkle when the sun’s in them. Maybe you like her. That’s why you are building an argument to justify yourself in case your friends ask you what you see in her.”
Newton’s Law Reversed is the love story of Akash and Ganga; Akash, a modern and forward thinking city boy, and Ganga, a village simpleton. Their story starts in a small Tamil Nadu village, Gangaikondacholapuram. Akash visits this village with his parents to meet an ailing relative. There he meets the English speaking and well educated Ganga. He has an instant liking for her, and when she too reciprocates his feelings, fearing commitment, he rejects her affection and comes back to Mumbai, but always has a constant nagging feeling inside him; a feeling of incompleteness, a feeling that something is missing. Two months later, circumstances force him to visit the village again. Wherever he goes in the village, the place reminds him of happier times spent with Ganga, and he finds himself thinking more and more about her. He realises that this is not just liking, it is love. But will Ganga accept his love now? What problems will Akash face in the conservative village?
Howard has tried a unique, and seldom used, narration style; the story oscillates between two time frames – present and the past; Akash’s previous and current visit to the village. Though this might be confusing at times, and a reader may frequently lose track, once this is overcome it gives a rare reading pleasure.
Akash is portrayed as a typical city brat accustomed to materialistic comforts, and disgusted by everything that has to do with a village. Ganga is a typical village girl living a life defined by paternalistic restrictions. Another character particularly worth mentioning is Akash’s father, Venkat; full of wit and doling out metaphysical theories at will, he has a certain indescribable charm. The book is a mixed bag of colourful characters like Parvathy, Chellamma, Ganesan, Thatha, Suresh, Sundaramurthy, etc. and they all add life to the story.
I’ve been guilty of using worn-out clichés like must-reads and must-buys extravagantly in my reviews, and am avoiding these lately, but Newton’s Law Reversed is definitely worth reading, and I’m sure you will not be disappointed.