Book Reviews

A Stick in the Dirt | Vidit Uppal | Book Review

  • Author: Vidit Uppal
  • Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd (22 November 2020)
  • Language: English
  • Print length: 252 pages

Book Review (3)

Do you like stories that revolve around dysfunctional families?

I do. Always.

A Stick in the Dirt by Vidit Uppal is a literary fiction that explores the dynamics of a dysfunctional family. Alongside that, it meanders through the web of complicated ties that bind a few people, almost inextricably. It is a story that urges you to flip the pages, one after the other, and ends on a note that may or may not satisfy you.

Vidya Sehgal is happy to see her new neighbors, the Parashars, in Konkur. As the two families continue to become close friends, her life takes a turn after Parashars welcome their son, Saurabh. He must have been a child doted upon by many. However, as he grows up, he invites whispers and eventually, loathes. What is it that brings in tension between two families – the Sehgals and the Parashars? What is it that disturbs the young boy who displays violent outbursts? This book is brimming with echoing questions and tumultuous changes.

In a significantly long time, I read a book that pulled me in with every page. A seemingly simple story that delves into the complex human relations and intricacies of their behaviors. A story that’d warm your hearts but also tear them apart. More than that, it’d keep you thinking as to what’s the possible equation behind everything that happens one after the other.

Divided into three separate parts, A Stick in the Dirt consists of half-hearted compromises, uncomfortable family dynamics, and quaint silences. As much as it showcases the affectionate bond of Vidya and Saurabh, it also brings to the fore a rather distant relationship of Parashar couple. The book points out how the unresolved conflicts cast an impact on a human. It also shows what it is like to be misunderstood by people you love and, consequently, fall into the abyss of inescapable misery.

Both the storyline as well as the writing of this book, surpassed my expectations. The characters and their conversations – with others and with themselves – intrigued me. I am not sure if the end gave me closure. Nonetheless, it is a book worth reading if you’re in the right mental space.

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