Book Reviews

22nd May | BshubhamB | Book Review

  • Publisher: Notion Press; 1st edition (22 May 2021)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 222 pages

Book Review

Men find it a sign of power to beat women and have them ‘their way.’ And that way always go through sexually assaulting them, claiming them as a trophy, and pinning them down to touch the dust of the ground. The eyes of women plead for mercy, beg for their losing dignity, but the men, the men derive pleasure out of hurting the women, out of destroying them. Beyond repair.

The men say that it’s their love. They love women by hurting them. And all I am left to conclude is that if this is love, I wouldn’t ever want a pie of it. Let ‘love’ rest with the men; let me live devoid of it.

22nd May is a heart-wrenching story of the Pal-Ghosh family consisting of Mr Pal, his wife Arshiya, and their two daughters – Shrini and Adra. Shrini, the eldest, falls in love with her classmate, Frezy, son of a popular political figure of the town. Their love blossoms until the night of 22nd May arrives and everything is set on fire. The ashes remain to haunt the victims, chase them, hunt them down, give them excruciating pain.

The book is a brave attempt by the author to portray a very sensitive topic through the lives of young girls. It also raises a critical issue of marital rape that usually goes unnoticed in the discussion. Besides this, the book opens discussion on how the mighty flee the punishment. How those in power never get around paying for their deeds. How they would hit and still miss what they deserve.

The storyline is grim and realistic. The characters and their actions, well-documented. While I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book, the second half saw me confused because of the rushed narrative. Maybe it was complementing the chaos that unfolded in the story but as a reader, it was too much to absorb at a time. I am certainly in awe of the writing that is unlike anything I’ve read before. But, it demands a fair round of editing to get rid of visible errors.

The poems popping up went on to connect me better with the story.

And although the entire book has more darkness to it, it still gives us hope. We all can fight the demons of society. We need our voices to be raised, amplified, and heard.

Purchase your copy 22nd May

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