WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
Chick-lit and light romances are two genres that I pick up whenever I am in a mood for some light read. In between reading highly literary reads and some really poor ones, there often emerges a need to pick-up books that remind you of the reason why you read them – for entertainment.
For this particular reason, I pick up chick-lits. To be honest I haven’t really read a chick-lit in many months. So, when Secret Diary of an Incurable Romantic came my way, I was really excited to give it a try.
Read on to know more about my thoughts on this book.
What to expect?
I think it’s pretty obvious but let me elaborate on this for the benefit of my readers! Expect a chick-lit full of mild humour, witty retorts and comic monologues.
For the uninitiated, chick-lits are essentially books that are meant for the female reader – intending to connect with their inherent girliness in a way no other genre can.
So yes, Secret Diary of an Incurable Romantic is a book meant for the female reader.
Font style, size and ease of readability
While the quality of the paper is okay, the book has a font size which is small for my liking. The font style, page margins and alignments kind of make-up for it but I seriously wanted the book to have a slightly bigger font.
The cover, title and the blurb are exciting and luring enough to excite and interest the reader.
Let’s talk about the storyline
Madhubala Ray is a thirty-year-old newly widowed woman who teaches social sciences to the students of a posh Chennai school. She lives with her seventy-year-old mother-in-law who, much to her chagrin, isn’t the chatty sorts.
To kill her time and get over her grief, she dabbles (as she likes to think of her brand-new addiction) in alcohol, but there is just a slight glitch. She is running out of cash; courtesy her unpaid leaves from her job at the school.
Also, her mother-in-law, whose name she often forgets, absolutely cannot know about her addiction.
Like a breath of fresh air, there comes a guy in Madhu’s life but life has never been so simple for her. So, while with a leap of faith she does plunge deep into this situation but only time will tell, where it will take her?
Secret Diary of an Incurable Romantic is the story of Madhu, her currently hopeless life, and her misadventures in a city that both loves and tests her.
What about the writing style?
Chitrangada Mukherjee writes in a way that turns seemingly mundane situations into comical ones. Her language is simple and plain and that makes it much easier to enjoy the book.
The book is a flowy breezy read that has the power to turn any boring afternoon into an interesting one.
Chitrangada writes with a pinch of salt and there is just the right dose of sarcasm in her humour; something that I absolutely loved!
I also appreciate the way how she has taken a rather serious situation (a recently widowed woman, loss of a loved one etc) and managed to give it a slight twist. Unlike the situation, the book is anything but a serious read.
The vivid amalgamation of cultures – Bengali and Tamil – also gives this book a distinct flavour. Needless to state, the writing had me completely enthralled and I will be happily looking forward to the author’s next.
How good were the characters?
There are a couple of characters that play an important role in the book – Madhu, her mother-in-law, her parents, her colleagues at school and her many love interests.
While most of them will make you feel happy and entertained, there are a few that will make you flinch. I also felt that a few characters were unnecessarily given a lot of space and importance while other, whom I seemed to like more, pushed to the background.
Was the climax good enough?
The climax was a decent one and though a tad predictable it appealed to the reader in me. I simply couldn’thave imagined the story concluding in any other way.
What did I not like?
Sometimes the main character of Madhu behaved in extremely irrational and naïve ways which kind of made me hate her but eventually she made up for all the cringeworthy stuff with her innocent charm.
Towards the middle of the book, there were places where the characters and the story itself seemed to be playing in a loop. The characters made the same mistakes, regretted the same way, got over it and then voila! They were back again in the same loop. This added a lot many pages than were actually required; kind of slowing down the otherwise fast paced book.
What did I like the most?
I loved how the romance in Secret Diary of an Incurable Romantic isn’t really the cheesy mushy sorts but is subtle and understated.
That the book explores romances of not just the younger generations but also of elderly ones is something worth appreciating.
Though the book is a light read it has some important lessons and experiences to share with its readers. It will be mildly inspiring to those who come looking for inspiration while it will be enriching for others.
How a newly married and recently widowed woman learns to cope up with her loss and move on? How a Bengali slowly and steadily comes to love a totally different city and culture? How fulfilling can the experience of a North Indian who comes to love South India be? How a seventy-year-old redefines the way one should look at love and also life? How tough it is to be a teacher and be a good one at that? How office politics is a real thing and how sometimes it can be too tiring to deal with it? How sometimes hope and happiness come from the least expected corners? How parents never stop loving their children no matter how old they are?
These are just some of the takeaways from this book.
It all boils down to the entertainment quotient
Secret Diary of an Incurable Romantic is one book that has a generous dose of entertainment sprinkled throughout the length and breadth of it.
It is a book that I will recommend to people who are looking for easy and simple language, sassy narratives, amusing characters, comic situations and high doses of entertainment.
In short, it has all the right ingredients in the correct proportions to make it a gripping read.
Pick up the book
- If you are a female reader who unapologetically loves her chick-lits.
- If you are a reader who enjoys subtle humour with a hint of sarcasm.
- If you enjoy light romances.
- If you are looking for an effortlessly entertaining read.
Skip the book
- If reading chick-lits is not your thing.
- If light romance and humour are not your preferred genre.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Secret Diary of an Incurable Romantic using the link below.