Book Reviews

Brink & Beyond | Supriya Saraswati | Book Review

  • Author: Supriya Saraswati
  • Genre: Short stories
  • Print Length: 107 pages
  • Publisher: Notion Press (7 July 2020)

Book Review

Healing. Healing is often an intangible phenomenon. We can’t see how it is happening, inside of us. But you see, it’s palpable. We can feel it. Once we are pushed to the brink, to the threshold of everything we can take upon us, we stand at the crossroads deciding upon the future course of action. And whatever we choose at that point determines our beyond! A beautiful idea, isn’t it?

Brink & Beyond by Supriya Saraswati is a collection of short stories set around women protagonists from different walks of life. These stories touch the contours of a woman’s life in different roles – a mother, a wife, a prostitute, or simply a girl willing to find the one who stays a bit longer. Right from taking us into the heart of someone who has to bare her body to different men for earning a living to someone who is out there amidst mountains finding her voice, these stories will tug effortlessly at your heart. And I tell you, they will stay at least for a while if not longer. Because we have a distinct way of responding to stories, don’t we? 

A book that covers not all but still, a good variety of emotions a woman feels in her life. And what’s a better way to lay open a woman’s heart than some utterly beautiful lines of poetry. To communicate is important and is indeed an art. An act of courage, I’d say. Brink & Beyond feeds upon this courage and communicates what happens in a woman’s deepest recesses through brilliant narration. I am still in awe of the writing – subtle, inviting, and poetic.

The characters come alive when the author describes the mundane activities with a certain flair. Their thoughts grip us when the author attempts to portray them in their most raw form. Everything’s simply bare, genuine. It bluntly brings forth the multiple hues of a woman – a mother reeling under the loss of her stillborn or maybe, the one grappling with conceiving a child of her own. True to the title, these women are definitely pushed to a brink where they have to make a choice. They need to decide which way they want to head now.

The author says in the beginning that this book is meant for a certain audience. I’d agree with her because such stories need time to be read, comprehended, and processed. It is not for your leisurely reading. Rather, it is there to familiarise you with reality, including naked vulnerabilities. In fact, I don’t feel the writing, which is intricate but beautiful, would serve everyone. It does get vague sometimes. So pick this one up if you are patient and willing to question.


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