Book: Thirteen Kinds of Love
Author: Soumya Bhattacharya
Publisher: Harper Collin publishers
First published: 2019
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Rating: ⭐ ⭐⭐ ⭐ (4/5)
About The Book
A child cares for a family of pigeons nesting in his balcony; is his parents’ relationship as diseased as the illness ravaging the baby pigeons? A man mulls over desire engendered by love and that which springs from mere lust. A couple confesses to the reader the reasons for the widening chasm between them. An intricate mesh of relationships and lives, Thirteen Kinds of Love follows the fortunes of several families living and working in an apartment block in Mumbai. This is a book about loving and losing, about trying to redeem oneself, about attempts to remake and refashion what has been torn asunder. Soumya Bhattacharya draws the reader into the narrative using his deeply evocative, distinctive prose. This is an astute exploration of how we live and love today.
About The Author
Born in Kolkata, Bhattacharya grew up and studied in Kolkata and London. As a journalist, he has worked on The Times (London), The Sydney Morning Herald, India Today magazine (New Delhi), The Telegraph (Kolkata) and the Hindustan Times. He is currently the Editor of Hindustan Times, Mumbai. His essays and literary criticism have appeared in a number of publications across the world, including The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, New Statesman, “Granta” and Wisden in Britain; The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia; Sports Illustrated in South Africa; and The New York Times. Bhattacharya’s first book, a work of narrative non-fiction called You Must Like Cricket?, was published across the world to critical acclaim in 2006. Part reportage, part travelogue, part cultural politics, You Must Like Cricket? is a memoir that explores how India’s identity got so closely tied to a game and the troubling hold that cricket has over him and a billion other of his countrymen. Writing about the book in The Guardian (London), the cultural critic Mike Marqusee called it ‘highly entertaining’ and said it was an ‘heir to a tradition harking back to cricket’s first literary classic, John Nyren’s The Cricketers of My Time, published in 1833.’ You Must Like Cricket? was one of the notable books of the year for the award-winning Observer Sport Monthly magazine in the UK. All That You Can’t Leave Behind, Bhattacharya’s second book, was a sort of sequel to You Must Like Cricket?It was published in India in 2009, and in the UK in 2011. Historian Ramachandra Guha called it ‘a vivid and empathetic account of the highs an lows of cricket watching in contemporary India’. Writing about it, author and columnist Peter Roebuck said: ‘Combining personal touches, socio-economics, emotion and statistics… it is a rich tale told with the sentiment of a supporter and acumen of a historian’. Bhattacharya’s third book (and first novel), If I Could Tell You, appeared almost simultaneously with All That You Can’t Leave Behind in December 2009. A haunting and tender novel, If I Could Tell You has at its heart the universal themes of longing, love and loss. Written in prose of beauty and power, it is a story about how luck and chance and a twist in events can irrevocably alter our lives, how love can lead to catastrophe, and, ultimately, about how the new India can make – and then break – a man. Greeted by several glowing reviews, the novel entered India’s national bestsellers list on publication. It was nominated for the Crossword Book Award, and shortlisted for The Hindu Best Fiction Award. The author Vikram Chandra wrote of it: ‘This is a remarkable novel by a writer whose work we will read for years to come.’ He is most recently the author of the fatherhood memoir, “Dad’s the Word”. Bhattacharya lives with his wife and daughter in Mumbai.
So when i saw the cover it was pretty and the name of the book suggested it was another short love stories. But when i actually read the book, it was more of the life of people living in a apartment in Mumbai which portrayed the different kind of love that exist between people. So i did not count whether it was thirteen kinds because there were so many elements to it. The love between a small boy and a bird or between a cheating husband and a loving wife or between a divorced father and his son who lives with his mom or between a widowed mother and her son. All of them were beautiful in its own way. I loved the style of narration of the book. Language was easy and simple. There was no big plot as such but the little things and big things was beautifully shown. The characters were all different and introduced beautifully. I loved the writer who shifted in the apartment to write and then moved away to maintain a relationship with the widowed mother. That was one story i wished i could know more about. The ending was satisfying too. In a nutshell the book is a lovely read.
I rate this book four out of five stars for engrossing me into this lovely apartment.The book is must read and worth your time. I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys reading contemporary novels. This book is not going to upset you.
You can buy this book on Amazon. click here.
Happy Reading !!
Source of “About the book” and “About the Author’ – Goodreads & Amazon
This review is done as a part of the blogchatter review program.