Introduction and Information about the book
I’m a huge lover of nature and books, so how could I give this one a miss!! And how could you not be intrigued by the title – XANADU!! Harshita has put together an intoxicating concoction of surreal emotions, lingering memories, redeemed happiness and curvaceous life in the mountains in this captivating Read. This novella is replenishing!!
- Book Name: – Xanadu
- Author: – Harshita Nada
- Reviewed By: – Daisy Bala
- Publisher: – Blogchatter
- format (Paperback or eBook):- ebook
- Language: – English
- Genre: – Literary and Contemporary fiction
- Rating: – 5/5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harshita intrigues the reader with the following opening lines in her book trailer:-
A young girl is living a simple life surrounded by nature and the love of her parents. An earthquake destroys her home and changes her life forever.
A young boy is struggling with the loss of his mother. As a reward for honesty, he gets a step up in life but has to leave behind all that is familiar.
An old lady lives alone, surrounded by memories and whispers of the past.
What is the link between the three?
Where is their Xanadu?
This talented wordsmith is an engineer turned SAHM turned book blogger. She loves to read, talk and write about books. Also Harshita likes to catch em young and passionate about instilling a love for books amongst children.
She loves to call herself lover of the written word.
Her social handles are:-
You can follow her works on her blogs:
“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary.
The book echoes these sentiments!! The three prominent characters of Miss Anita, Bhoomi and Harish conquer their own mountains. Their lives go topsy turvy through the rigmaroles of time, conspiring destinies, sorrows, pains with a sprinkle of happiness. A gripping tale of the protagonist (Miss Anita) is told through converging stories of the other characters. I was fascinated by the author’s hold on the plot and the sheer clarity in her writing. The characters followed their own trajectory but mingled seamlessly to complete the bigger picture. I realized because Harshita belongs to Ruskin Bond’s Dehra, her writings were so picturesque and imagery so vivid.
I was inspired to see that all the characters were their own torchbearers!!
MY REVIEW – THE REVIEW SECTION
What is Xanadu? Its a noun meaning, an idealized place of great or idyllic magnificence and beauty. And indeed Harshita paints an ethereal picture of the pristine Himalayas as the story cascades through emotional highs-lows of life and also the search for their ultimate Xanadu. The cover and the title of the book are riveting. The scenic cover is a giveaway and will immediately attract the mountain lovers. The reader will be intrigued by it for a quick pick up and blurb check.
The book revolves around the life of Miss Anita and her hardships through time. Her wrinkles and stooped stature shone despite her agonies and loneliness. As the Burra Saheb’s daughter in the tea estate valley, she was left to fend for herself after her parents passed away. Though prosperous initially, slowly the vagaries of time took away her everything. In her life’s prime when she resided in her bungalow ” Ethni”, Miss Anita met Bhoomi and Harish, through unprecedented events, who had already been through rough ordeals of misery. Their accidental entry in each other’s lives gave them moments of joy and momentary bliss. However, when they got separated and a series of events mar their exuberance for life, the circumstances forced them to trace their steps back searching for roots. It was here in the end, that they found their Xanadu and the ultimate search for belongingness ended. Miss Anita, Bhoomi and Harish indeed climbed their mountains that had conspired in their favor. The other characters of Ram Singh, Shalini, Makhan, Arjun, Sheroo are intricately carved and hold the story tightly.
Miss Anita as a seeker and giver of kindness was the ultimate shero for me. Her spell bounding resilience was awe inspiring and the back bone of the story.
The writing style is intriguing and engaging which hooks the reader deep into the core of the chapters. My favorite lines are: –
Listening to Anita’s tale, Bhoomi couldn’t
control her tears. The old lady with the kind smile was her childhood saviour, Miss Anita. The only one who had time to listen to Bhoomi, to understand her.
And Harish, her former partner in crime, was now a handsome stranger. Harish looked towards Bhoomi in concern as she fell down on her knees, near Anita’s
chair, sobbing uncontrollably. Bhoomi couldn’t believe that she had found her lifelines again. As Bhoomi cried, Anita patted her head soothingly, letting Bhoomi weep. Anita understood that Bhoomi was weeping not only for today but for all the years
Bhoomi had spent alone. The tears were for the sorrow of losing Ram Singh, of losing Shalini, and for the bitter years spent in hating Arjun, for making Shalini’s life miserable. The tears, Anita knew, would purge Bhoomi’s heart of all the resentments,
leaving it refreshed to start her life anew in the hills.
After all of Bhoomi’s tears were spent, Anita hugged her tightly and said, “Welcome to our Xanadu!”
The night was dark. There was no sound of
traffic or wailing sirens like in the city. The only sounds were sounds of the night, the rustling of the wind through the trees, the chirping of night insects, the soft hoot of the owls. It should have been calming, but Bhoomi was unable to sleep. The fact
that she had not kept in touch with Miss Anita ashamed her.
The book is like an enthralling experience that commemorates life, its hardships and our search for our ultimate Xanadu. The story ends at a positive note promising that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. I was attached inadvertently with the brimming characters with each passing page, thinking consistently, what might happen next!
Overall, it is a winner! I was enlightened after the read and wanted to stay hydrated in that moment of joy and content, for a while!
Also the beauty of mountains throughout kept me inspired and amazed.
Here’s the download link for the book – Xanadu-