Bahir, Monisha K Gumber, 2018

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Publishers: Becomeshakespeae.com

Synopsis:

A tale of utter desperation and fierce hope. And a fight for honour. Meet Sawera. A beautiful and sensual woman. Born in Pakistan, raised in the Middle East and abused wherever she goes. Struggling to find acceptance, which eludes her over and over again, she ends up being an outcast. Who belongs nowhere and to no one. Used and manipulated by the men she loved, from the depths of her soul she claims her self-respect, along with the faith to overcome her pitiful circumstances. Where does she find her strength? What is the breaking point? How does she get over the demons of her past? Follow the story of Sawera, a child born of midnight into the dawn of new hope. Uncover the secrets and conspiracies that make her the woman she is. Read her story, a story of survival.

 

Reviews: 
“A gripping page turner that didn’t leave for a moment, a phenomenal story showing the brutal realities of life in the author’s signature light-weight style ” : Mahesh Bhatt
“An engaging, sensational story with deep thematic resonance” : Gulf Weekly
“Perturbing, piercing, yet able to warm the heart” : Rohini Bakshi (Author, Oxford Alumnus and Sanskrit Scholar, UK)
“An enthralling social satire that makes you introspect” : Sumit Agarwal (National bestselling author)
“A saga that haunts the reader until the last page. Unput downable”: Rohini Sunderam (Author & Founder member of Bahrain Writers’ Circle)

 

My Review:

One thing that really influenced me and made me pick up this book was the collection of reviews by actual critics and well-renowned persons. The synopsis pulled me in more.

The plot of the story is well made, and the narrative of the first person, through the protagonist Sawera was very engaging. The author has done a really good job with it- she has been able to keep he reader interested till the very end. I was one such hooked-on reader, who could hardly keep the book down once I picked it up. The autobiographical way in which the majority is written, has a very convincing tone and at times one forgets that it is, although inspired by many such women, merely a fiction novel.

The characters incite a multitude of different feelings in the reader. There is firstly pity and sadness- seeing the condition and pity to which Sawera is subjected; there is anger at all the people who afflict such cruelty upon her, and lastly, there is shame- for one comes upon different versions of themselves, and it is not a pretty picture, that the characters reflect in the reader.

The themes of social justice, reality in those tmes, poverty, female subjugation, orphans, depression, rape etc., all are showcased in a very raw and real manner and you cannot help but cringe at some points – not because of the writing, no – but because of the real situations that the author puts into words. The entire story is raw and cruel and pulls at your heartstrings, and as a reader, I too couldn’t help but curse the bad-luck of Sawera. However, it made me realize that life is not always roses – there are so many such women who are suffering every day, every hour and every minute.

Although the book is not set in the exactly same time as today, so many of the events and situations are still relatable- because so many of these heart-wrenching things are regular occurrences even today. Nonetheless, Bahir was a beautiful book and I am determined to recommend it to each and every one of you.

My verdict:

I rate this story a 5/5 stars!

 

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