A CAGE OF DESIRES: BOOK REVIEW

  1. Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra
  2. Release: May 21st, 2018
  3. Pages: 219
  4. Genre: Romance, Erotic, Fiction
  5. Publisher: Penguin
  6. Language: English
  7. Audience:  Frequent Reader with interest in Romance, Highly relatable for female demographic
  8. GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40090145-a-cage-of-desire
  9. Buy Here: https://amzn.to/2MIu9oN

Blurb

There’s a kind of love that makes you go down on one knee, and there’s the kind that brings you down on both. You don’t need the latter, because no matter what you do, you cannot make anyone love you back.’
Renu had always craved for love and security, and her boring marriage, mundane existence somehow leads her to believe that, maybe, this is what love is all about. Maya, on the other hand, is a successful author who is infamous for her bold, erotic books.
What do these two women have in common? How are their lives intertwined?
Renu’s thirst for love and longing takes her on a poignant journey of self-exploration. The answers come to her when she finds the courage to stand up for herself, to fight her inner demons and free herself from the cage of desires .

Review

A Cage of Desires is a story of a middle aged housewife ‘Renu’ who is stuck in a life which she lives for others. She has the responsibility of running the household where she takes care of her father-in-law and her children and manages the day to day functioning of the family while her husband lives in other city due to his job.

She has no control over decisions of her life and most of her day is spent tending to needs of household, her children and catering to whims and wishes of her father-in-law. Coming from a family of divorced parents, she had a very lonely childhood and had longed for the strong foundation of family and security.

She found this security and safety of family when she married her husband Dev and is now scared to lose it all. So she tolerates the ever nagging father-in-law and a husband who doesn’t acknowledge her existence. She finds an outlet to her expression and carves a path to self discovery but keeps it as a deep dark secret which if discovered by her family would bring their honor into question and threaten to destroy everything she has.

Characters: Story revolves around protagonist Renu and other supporting characters of Dev, Arjun and her children. Even though there were not a lot of elements of her situation which I had personally experienced, I believe her character is extremely relatable. She lives the life of a typical middle aged woman in India who loses their identity once they get married. It was heart breaking to read her trials and tribulations and her struggle to rediscover her lost identity. She is a woman of extreme patience and tolerance and that is reflected throughout the book.

Language: Language used is very poetic and beautiful. It was an absolute treat to read the tastefully written prose which express the unexplained emotions of heart. Throughout the book, I was blown away with the beauty and grace with which the author expressed the feelings of heartbreak, feeling trapped and longing for unconditional love.

Narration: The narration of the story is done by Renu as a personal character. The story is told in the form of stream of consciousness and we can read her thoughts and inner monologue. She is the single narrator throughout the book.

Plot-line: The plot-line of the story is predictable. I was able to judge the direction of the story and had a fair idea of where it was headed. But that doesn’t make you lose the interest in the book. The author keeps you on the edge of your seat by a few twists and turns towards the end. The story however is very relatable and interesting. The author have truly captured the essence of heart break and unrequited love in this beautiful story.

Cover: The cover for the book is a beautiful blue indigo with illustration of a saree clad woman. It is very eye catching looks splendid in photographs.

Parents Guide: (might contain spoilers)

  • Sex and nudity: There are some sex scenes and few of them are explained in detail. There is also a part where a woman is pleasuring herself.
  • Violence/Gore: None
  • Profanity: I didn’t come across use of any intense profanity.
  • Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: A scene where a couple is drinking wine. Nothing intense.
  • Intense Scenes: A part where a woman attempts to take her life can be disturbing for some people.

Final Thoughts

This book makes it to my list of top favorites of 2018. It is such a beautifully written book with amazing story, well-developed characters, quotable quotes and life changing lessons. If you are looking for a gift to give to your mother, sister, wife or any other woman in your life, this would be my top recommendation. It will make them feel less lonely and give them courage to stand up for themselves and find their individual identity.

It makes a great read for their male counterparts as well as it can help them understand a female perspective and their need for independence. I highly recommend it to everyone.

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