I got this book, Mistress of Honour as a part of the Booksense Blogger review program. This is the 2nd book of the author , Bhavana Arora . Her first book was “The Deliberate Sinner” which received positive reviews from the online community.
Getting down to the book.
The book makes an attempt to provide a deep insight into the lives of the men serving in the Indian military forces and their families . The lives they lead , sometimes in constant fear , rapidly moving around the country , being way from their families and how it affects the other members of the family . At that , I think the author has done a very good job.
The story follows the lives of the two characters Potnis and Pansy . Potnis is a captain in the Indian army and his life is constantly uprooted when he has to move to different parts of the country for different missions. Pansy is the devoted wife , they have daughter named Rihana. Being the only child , Rihana always wanted a sibling , to fill the void the absence of his father always left around her. She later finds a brother in Kabir and finally the love of her life in Advik.
The book constantly reminds us of the sacrifices the armed forces make in the personal lives and family to protect our country . Potnis is met with tragedies during the course of the book that test his resolve to put nation before family first. But the family sticks together and helps each other out getting through the tough phase.The book also emphasizes that it’s an endless cycle. As is depicted by the story of the two generations , Pansy and her daughter Rihana . Rihana would have to make the same sacrifices her mother does .
The author has done well enough to develop these characters over the book and the side characters as well , but the main storyline is very weak and never quite takes off. The story starts off with operation blue star at the time of the assassination of Indira Gandhi , then traverses Civil Unrest in Sri Lanka , assassination of Rajiv Gandhi , ULFA militants in Assam and then culminating in the Kargil war. I was instantly reminded of Chetan Bhagat’s 3 mistakes of my life where he started off with the Gujarat earthquake and then all the way ended his story with the riots. I know the cover of the book says its inspired by real life stories , but at times the book really felt a half baked history lesson.
The book has all the usual elements , drama , action , romance , sex , that you would expect from a short read like this . The sex scenes described are corny at best , at times I just skipped it altogether .
The book is a decent read if you’re traveling and have some time to kill. At 200 pages , it doesn’t take much of your time either.
Rating : 2.5/5