PLOT: 2.5/5 CHARACTERS: 2.5/5 WRITING: 3/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 2.5/5
Though I have been reading and discovering new horror authors through my Kindle Unlimited subscription, it has been almost a month since I last did so.
Without delving deeper into the reasons for this apparent break, let’s talk about our book under the spotlight for today. The Ghost Wife by Ravi Ranjan Goswami has a peculiar but striking vibe. More than pure horror, the cover image conveys supernatural mysticism.
But one thing strikes you for sure, the cover image depicts a story set in a foreign land, carrying socio-cultural and supernatural influences of far-flung lands. The reader, therefore, is quite surprised when she comes across a very Indian story. Appearances can definitely be deceptive. How true!
The story as it goes
Living in a grand mansion in Sunder Nagar is the ghost of the young princess Madhubala, the daughter of Raja Pratap Singh of the princely state of Singhgarh.
The princess’s promising future culminates in a tragic and abrupt end when a grand party, organized in her honour, is attacked by a masked man. Though many souls perish in the chaos that ensued, it is the princess’s benign soul that finds it hard to leave behind the shackles of this mortal world.
And so, she lingers on, aimless and clueless since 1975, until fifty years later, she comes across a handsome young man Rakesh, and her story finally takes an unexpected turn.
To put it simply the book is neither spooky nor romantic (though romance is present as an underlying theme). It is a short story, of under forty pages, which narrates the unbelievable tale of Princess Madhubala’s ghost.
As the story progresses, we come across new characters, and new turns, but the overall pace remains the same. Though it isn’t a bad story, one cannot really call it captivating. To put it gently, it is decent and mediocre; the kind of story one concocts at random, or one which is experienced as a part of a lucid dream.
The characters are pretty much uni-dimensional, at the same time lacking emotions, dynamism, and depth.
The rural backdrop is a welcome addition that manages to break the monotony and offer some respite.
Halfway through, the story takes a different turn, which leaves the reader perplexed. There is also a visible disconnect between the two parts. It seems that the author started one way and could not make up his mind, and then resorted to a very different track.
There are also many editing mistakes, especially when it comes to making use of ‘his’ and ‘her’. The genders often get mixed up, further aggravating the issue of grammatical correctness.
In the end
In the end, Ghost Wife is the story of a wandering ghost who finds love and purpose in life. Written in a simple language, it can be easily read in an hour. Though neither spooky nor dramatic, it tells a decent story to spend a lazy hour.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of The Ghost Wife using the link below.