PLOT: 4/5 CHARACTERS: 4/5 CLIMAX: 4/5 WRITING STYLE: 4/5 ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
A page-turner is an understatement for Together We were (W)hole. This thriller opens in an office cabin when it suddenly begins to rain cats and dogs. A major business deal is about to be signed but what pans out is corporate politics and mishandled secrets which the protagonist deals with wit and cool-headedness.
Like love, everything is fair in the corporate world too as the first few pages show. It takes grit to endure the ups and downs of the corporate ladder, but the lead protagonist is one strong woman. At the end of the day, the novel is about a woman’s lonely fight seeking justice while wanting to do justice at the same time.
The story of Shanaya Sharma
From here, the story goes into the past – sort of like a flashback from the perspective of the protagonist – and relays her first day at the corporate office. Soon after the readers are introduced to the protagonist who is Sanaya Sharma, an assistant manager in M & S Consultancy Services Limited, a Japan-based multinational company operating in forty countries, and listed on all major stock exchanges with a net worth of INR 300 crores.
Shanaya is frank, honest, emotional, and opens up to the reader without much hesitation about what she truly thinks and feels. This is what gets the readers invested in Sanaya Sharma’s character immediately, even before they know more about all that she has been through.
Her corporate position does not make her a gutsy, fiery, boss lady. She is humble, has a good presence of mind, and is self-motivated to do good, and bring out the good in others too. Yet, it is this quality that makes her trip on thorny paths and get hurt instead. The overall characterization is top-notch and helps to visualize the struggles of individual characters with clarity.
Sanaya is introduced to Siddharth who is a senior colleague and he helps her get acquainted with the do’s and don’ts at work while giving her an overview of her duties. They soon realize that she lives in Defence Colony and he lives in Malviya Nagar. As residents of South Delhi working in the same office, they immediately strike a bond. This hints at the plot twist that is to follow with a close relationship that the two develop much later in the plot.
They share the difficulties in their lives and have a mutual respect that strengthens their bond. They are in love or at least Sanaya thinks so, but how far is it right to allow work and love to play together?
Thrill and some more drama
Soon after, things take a rapid turn when Siddharth becomes engrossed in his business venture with a renowned businessman Mr. Kunal Dev Kashyap, and ends up giving Mr. Kashyap’s daughter Misha all his attention. This brings about a rift in the relationship of Sanaya and Siddharth and he breaks up with her on her birthday. What follows is a new rise, a new beginning where Sanaya uses her vengeance to rebuild her life and destiny.
An engrossing plot
The plot of Together We were (W)hole is engrossing and captivating no doubt, but it is also the manner of storytelling that deserves special credit. The author writes with ease, and with a style that leaves many loose ends, but at the end of the novel, all of it is tied up meaningfully.
The reader receives the closure they are looking for through a narrative that picks up pace as it goes without overriding or undermining important climaxes. Again, this facilitates the visualization of the scenes while putting across the feelings of the characters.
Not your typical love triangle
Readers are bound to go through angst, sorrow, and disgust as the reader becomes emotionally involved. This breaks away the notion of the novel being a typical love triangle. The dialogues are plenty while the narrative is mostly in the first person. This gives it a script like feel while reading. Further, the novel has elements of suspense, tension, and conflict that make it possible to be dramatized or picturized quite vividly.
Some other aspects
All chapters have a title that runs along with the chapter numbers. This helps puts across an important idea that is mentioned in the chapter and also serves to present the crux of the chapter. The punning on the title Together We Were (W)hole is cleverly placed which gives the idea that together the two characters felt both complete and incomplete at the same time.
Typographical details include a line with a few leaves that marks a Spatio-temporal shift in the narrative. At every point when the reader thinks that this is it, the novel throws in a new angle that becomes unpredictable in a tale of betrayals, misunderstandings, and vengeance.
The book cover captures the most important climax of the plot, the attack on Sanaya. Despite all the attention to detail, the addition of a content page would have made things much easier. Regardless, the book keeps readers on edge, has a fresh new twist on corporate love stories, and makes for a thoroughly entertaining read.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Together We Were (W)hole using the link below.