WRITING STYLE: 3/5
In times like today, when feminism has become a global movement, and has touched the lives of millions of women, there are still societies that expect a woman to be a superheroine.
While men look for smart and educated working professionals as their prospective partners, their families often want the exact opposite.
We teach our girls to be independent and ambitious. And regardless of their career goals, we also prepare them for a life after marriage.
But we don’t teach our boys to share the increased burden with their women. This creates an unfair amount of pressure on today’s women.
She is expected to work hard and earn money. But she is also expected to single-handedly take care of her house and family. This is what needs to be changed.
And Nandita Saini’s World’s Best Husband is a small step in this direction.
Read on to know what I think of the book and how was my experience of reading it.
What to expect?
Expect a book that tells us a simple story. Expect a book that is meant as an inspirational read for all married couples. Expect a short read. And finally, expect a book that breaks gender stereotypes.
Who can read?
Since the book is written in a simple language, it can be easily picked up by a beginner level reader.
Let’s talk about the storyline
Nandini is a 22-year-old girl who has just begun her professional career. She is bubbly and carefree, independent, and ambitious. And marriage features last on her current list of priorities.
Advik is a 24-year-old handsome young man with roots in Panchkula, Haryana. He is currently riding high on his success and is driven to achieve much more in his professional career. As expected, currently he too has no inclination towards marriage.
When both their families constantly bombard them with questions regarding ‘settling down’, the two agree to meet each other, albeit reluctantly.
They do it not because the idea of an arranged date excites them, but just so they can put a stop to the constant parental pressure.
Finally, when they do meet, something changes in both of them. They instantly develop a liking for each other.
And find themselves agreeing to something they had no plans for – marriage. This is the story of the arrange-cum-love marriage of Advik and Nandini.
The book has a message
The main objective of World’s Best Husband is to break gender stereotypes and bring about a change in societal norms. And it manages to achieve that quite well.
In Advik, we see a husband who shares the household burden equally with his wife. We see a husband who doesn’t blink an eye when his wife is required to move abroad for a career opportunity.
We see a husband who defends his wife when the in-laws complain unfairly.
In short, we see a modern man who cares for his wife in the same fashion he expects her to care for him.
How good are the characters?
The characters are a decent lot but sometimes they seem too good to be true. And that makes them unbelievable. The book is written as a dedication to the World’s Best Husband.
But even then, it would have made sense to showcase some flaws in the main characters. It would have made them much more humane and relatable.
There are some grey characters in the book which manage to break the monotony of the ‘goody-goody’ vibe. But they always remain in the periphery.
Let’s talk about the writing style
The language, though good, needs a little polishing. There are times when the narrative flows freely. At other times, however, the execution is a little messy.
But this fact can be overlooked because the author is a debut one. Her writing will only get better with time.
I also like the use of vernacular in the language. Its use isn’t overdone. But is served in just the right dose to compliment the text beautifully. This also helps in enhancing the local flavor of the book.
Another thing worth appreciating is how the book will easily relate to any Indian woman. The journey of Nandini is inspiring and relatable.
The struggles that she goes through, the unfair expectations of her in-laws, their unjust treatment of her, the demanding nature of her work vis-à-vis an equally demanding personal life – all of it will speak to any Indian woman.
What did I like?
I read a lot of self-published books by debut authors. One disturbing trend that I often witness is a tendency to overlook crucial aspects like editing, formatting, spacing, and overall reading comfort.
It comes as a welcome surprise that all these things have been given adequate attention. The book is well-formatted and edited.
I also enjoyed the idle banter that the couple indulges in from time to time. It brings out the beauty of their relationship very well.
What did I not like?
The book is too simple. Many important things that matter the most in a story have been ignored. The characters are unidimensional.
There is an evident lack of a solid plot. And there are no twists and turns to hook the reader.
Moreover, the book reads like a diary and not like a story. I agree that the story is autobiographical and hence requires to adhere to the said plot.
But even then, creative methods could have been employed to make it interesting and engaging. In its current form, it doesn’t offer much to the reader.
Is the climax good enough?
The climax is more of a summary than a climax. It doesn’t conclude the story of the characters but imparts an essential moral lesson for all its readers. In strictly that sense, it succeeds in accomplishing the objectives of the book.
It all comes down to entertainment
There is a perceptible shortage of entertainment in the book. It reads like a diary and is quite monotonous in its narrative. As discussed above, it needs much work in terms of reader engagement.
In the end
World’s Best Husband by Nandita Saini takes a necessary and welcome step towards changing the unreal expectations of a married working woman.
It is a book that touches upon a very socially relevant subject. And inspires more and more men to be their own versions of good husbands.
Pick the book if
- You are looking for a simple read.
- You want to read a real story of a real feminist.
- You are looking for a short read.
- You are a beginner level reader.
- You want to read a book about a married Indian woman and her journey.
Skip the book if
- You are looking for a good entertainer.
- You are a regular reader.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy below.