Book Review: Inauspicicous

Book: Inauspicious

Author: Renée L. K. Eastabrooks

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Review Copy: Reedsy

Available at: Amazon.com

Some aspects of our society and cultural mores are so horrifying that we strive to keep them under wraps. It takes someone with courage, compassion, and empathy to bring forth depraved secrets so that the evil can be ripped apart at the roots. Renée L. K. Eastabrooks pens down the true story of a young widow in Rajasthan, who miraculously escapes the burning pyre of Sati, and goes on to search for a new life across continents. Easterbrook’s novel – Inauspicious – contains insights from her month-long trip to northern India where she worked with widows and street children.

Sati, the practice of burning alive a widow on the pyre of her dead husband, is illegal in India. However, in the hinterlands, the widow is a financial and social burden, and an entire custom is perpetuated to get rid of her while crowning her with divinity. In this horrifying landscape, a young widow, Triti, escapes a lit pyre and through sisterhood and kindness, and the power of her dreams and forte attempts to rewrite her destiny. The novel is gripping from the start and has the reader rooting for the protagonist.

The writer is invested in the local landscape and heritage. The book contains verses, local lullabies, songs, and a few colloquial dialogues. Amidst the sorrow and the depravity, the descriptions of colors, bazaars, spices, jewelry, bring out the visual vibrancy for which Rajasthan is well-known. Eastabrook’s writing is evocative and the observant narrative fills the pages of an otherwise troubling story.

Initially, it seems Triti’s recovery and journey to Delhi and then to New York is not only swift but convenient. A quarter into the book, the 18 years old, Triti, has changed her identity and moved out of the country, only to discover the smoke and mirrors in the world. Her trysts are yet to unfold.

This is a story of sheer grit and the desire to survive, against all odds. From small towns and impoverished societies rise some of the strongest souls who become an inspiration. Triti’s story, even in adversity, speaks of the power of serendipity and the inner strength that can pave the path for redemption and healing if ever there is for those who have experienced the darkest depths of society.

Published by Aneesha Shewani

I am just ME … a soul streaming across constellations, over eons of turbulent changes and tranquil noises, perturbed by the visions that engulf me and ruffled by the oft complacence that challenges the change. Yet, I must travel further across the galaxies, in search of the ultimate metamorphosis. Until then, I sojourn in this life, engrossed in my earthly callings of a wife, mother, professional, writer, dreamer, and seeker. On this blog you will find a spectrum of fiction, poetry, reviews, thoughts, snippets, inspiration, experiences, voices, concerns, excerpts, and everything that the soul has gathered in her fold, over years of reading, searching, finding, losing, and discovering. I regularly indulge in various creative pursuits, like crochet, experimental cooking, reading, and writing, and I hold a managerial/editorial role in a financial services organization with a global footprint. For a long time, social media hijacked my personal writing space, as I was sharing more on Facebook and writing Tweet-sized poetry on Twitter. Social media is instant but temporary gratification. Ultimately, a writer needs their own space, and personal blogging provides that space. I had started a blog more than a decade ago but all things need to be infused with new life, emerge in a new avatar, and so it is with my new blog space. Let your love and encouragement pour into Blue Pen Strokes. Check out Aneesha Shewani (@tweetoeuvre): https://twitter.com/tweetoeuvre?s=09 

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