WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3/5
The Odyssey of Reunion tells us the story of a man named Murali who was imprisoned in his youth and released from jail in his 60s.
Everything has changed around him. India got independence, Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead and Jawaharlal Nehru became the Prime Minister of the newly independent India but he remained unaware of all these events of the outside world, limited to sewing and polishing in the dark corners of his prison.
Out of the prison, he is like a newborn child lost in this altered surrounding and yet enjoying each moment of freedom, observing and absorbing things afresh.
He sets on a journey, retracing his path left a long time back, to meet the old company and at last, fulfil the delicate promises given years ago.
But can a man suffering from amnesia recall his past? Are the people and places of his youth still traceable?
I really like the cover art of The Odyssey of Reunion that depicted the mind of the old man Murali. Also, the title of the book and the cover design complements the contents of the author’s story.
There was an absence of a blurb of any kind for the book. I believe one is required for a reader to have an idea before going forward with the reading.
The storyline of this book is fascinating and the blurb would have given me a better picture of that, making me eager to pick up the book sooner than I actually did.
I enjoyed the first chapter, ‘Dungeons Opened’, the most as it portrayed the old man Murali’s physical and mental situation well while pushing the story forward. In his voyage to the past, he is accompanied by a young lad called Subhrajeet who helps Murali fulfil his wishes.
The reader gets glimpses of India of the 1960s and also, as back as 1919 as Murali grew up under his mother’s loving grace and went away for further studies.
The author touches upon those moments of human emotion whether it be love, kindness, self-sacrifice or devotion that cuts across all the ills prevalent in that situation.
Overall, it was a pleasant read of a sweet reunion.
What I loved the most?
It was interesting to read about the days gone by; how people interacted and what the popular views were during the India’s struggle for freedom. Although I believe it could have been further explored as I would have liked a more extensive view of the former times.
Also, the author has noted the events and sentiments, which were evident during the 1960s, well in his narrative as he discusses the ongoing political tension and the socio-cultural changes.
The relationship showcased between the gradually fading old man Murali and the young adult companion Subhrajeet reflects a contrasting and comprehending picture of changing times but enduring ties.
Would I recommend the book?
Yes. It was fascinating to watch the old man’s journey, his interactions and vision. If one is interested in a historical fiction set in India during the times of the freedom struggle one may give it a read.
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