WRITING STYLE: 3.2/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.2/5
“… she had risen unsupported like the proverbial Phoenix. Unlike so many unfortunate women engulfed by the flames of despair, this Phoenix had soared to heights of achievements despite having a clipped wing.”
In the past couple of decades, the position of women in Indian society has seen a massive uplift. What was just an exception yesterday has become the norm of today. This is especially true in case of urban areas. This book helped me realize how privileged we stand as against our counterparts from a few decades ago. The independence to work and earn a living which is a right today was not so back then. Phoenix by Arti Chugpai helped me understand a lot about the position of women in yesteryear’s urban India.
What is the book all about?
The book is the story of Sonam Aggarwal, a beautiful young woman who after her marriage into a wealthy family discovers that her husband is a serious drug addict. After spending four years trying to help him get off drugs, Sonam decides to quit.
She decides to leave her good-for-nothing husband and expects that her family will stand by her in these testing times. But soon she discovers that her parents are not happy with her choice. They try hard to persuade her otherwise but Sonam remains strong and adamant.
She is refused help and support of any kind by her parents. Disappointed but determined Sonam decides to chalk out a path for herself by relying on her education and hard work. The book Phoenix, is Sonam’s extraordinary story of success despite of all odds against her.
What about the characters?
The characters in the book are an okay bunch. They are neither very impressive nor very dull. Though there are many characters in the story, not one of them came across as dynamic and interesting. Sonam as the central character had huge potential, but I felt that the narration didn’t do her enough justice. Kunal too could have been developed into an interesting character but wasn’t.
How is the author’s writing style?
The plot of the book spans over a couple of decades. Sonam’s story is told right from her early years in 1983 till the year 2017. Arti’s language is rich and poised; her narratives are written with flair. I also liked how the story was so relevant when it came to our Indian society and the challenges that Indian women face. I also liked the way there were so many characters and their side stories, all complementing Sonam’s story. The various characters & sub plots were like these stunning multi-colored beads – beautiful individually but together when strung into a necklace, they could not retain their magic.
Is the climax good?
The climax of the book was again mediocre. It was quite predictable and had no element of surprise though I loved how it ended on a very philosophical note. In the end, Sonam’s story was indeed an inspiration.
The Final Verdict – is it entertaining?
Phoenix tells an inspiring story. The story of Sonam is as relevant today as much it is reflective of yesterday. There are still women who comprise and live unfulfilled, unhappy lives. Sonam’s story will help these women find their wings and help them fly. Though the book was overall a decent entertainer, one thing could have been better – the unnecessary jargon and technicalities of the IT Training industry could have been avoided for the benefit of the reader. It made the book unnecessarily lengthy and complicated while doing little to arouse the reader’s interest.
Go for it if
I would recommend Phoenix to Indian women who are looking for inspiration in life. If you are somebody who likes to read inspiring stories, then this is should be a good read.
Skip it if
Skip this book if all you are looking at is an entertaining story. Also, if you don’t like technical jargon and industry technicalities, then it would do good to avoid this book.
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