The book, “The Mother I Never Knew” by Sudha Murty, is a fictional novel, which talks about human relations. This book has two stories. They both, though based on completely different backgrounds, strike a similar chord of emotion in the readers. Both the stories deal with family values and discuss the turn of situations when maintaining a steady relationship with the family can become too difficult.
The first story is about Venkatesh, a kind-hearted banker, who lives in Bangalore with his wife and two children. Shanta, Venkatesh’s wife is a money-minded woman, who places money above all and similar is the nature of their son, Ravi. Gauri, their daughter, on the other hand, takes on her father and supports him in all his decisions.
When Venkatesh gets transferred to Hubli, he discovers his look-alike and on further investigation, he finds out that the look-alike is the abandoned son of his father. He probes on and finds his step-mother. After listening to her sad story, he is moved and decides to atone for the injustices done to his half-brother and step-mother.
How far will he be successful in helping them? Will his family support him in his endeavour?
The second story is about Mukesh, an NRI, who is married to an Indian girl Vasanthi, who is very supportive of him. Mukesh gets the news of the sudden death of his father and moves to India.
There, a shocking revelation of his adoption shatters him. His foster mother tells him that Rupinder is his biological mother. He starts his journey to find more about his biological mother, though he is not sure how he is going to confront her.
Travelling through the lanes of Amritsar and then Delhi, he comes to know about the complicated truth of his birth. Rupinder is not his birth-mother. He was handed over to Rupinder by Nirmala, who in reality is his birth-mother.
Will he be able to trace Nirmala? Is he going to stay with his birth-mother? What about the mother who raised him and never for a moment made him feel like an outsider? With whom do his loyalties lie? Read the book to get the answers to these questions.
Both the stories beautifully capture the emotional turmoil faced by the protagonists. The setting of both the stories is contemporary.
“The Mother I Never Knew” has everything – selfish people, illegitimate children, foster parents as well as people who are still down-to-earth in spite of their riches.
The first story of the book draws a contrast between the living conditions and culture of the two families belonging to the two opposite sides of poverty-line.
Though the second story feels a little melodramatic, the writing style and the simplicity of the language will make you turn the pages even faster.
If you have loved Sudha Murty’s other books, you will love this one too. This book is like comfort food, which you can always turn to during a cold phase of your life.
The writing is quite simple which is an advantage for a novice reader. The easy flow of the story is helpful as it does not force you to think too much or analyse and hence, this story is great for enjoying in your leisure time.
The minute details given about the characters help the readers in imagining the characters better. This book presents to you a situation, where things going smoothly, all of a sudden turn upside down by a single incident.
“The Mother I Never Knew” is fast-paced and so, if you are suffering from a period of reading lethargy, you can pick it and finish it in one sitting.
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