Relationships, deceit and lies form the crux of debutant author Geetha Menon’s book ‘What Mina Did’ and has been inspired by her own traumatic life experience. Set in the late 1990s and at the turn of the millennium, the novel exposes the ordeals people in love go through in conservative Indian families where love is still a dirty word. Despite the percolation of Western culture in Indian lifestyles, certain relationships are still not acceptable in the Indian milieu.
The life stories of the protagonist Mina and her childhood friend Neelu are a study in contrast but the strength of their friendship is so deep that it comes to their rescue when all else fails. One of the messages, the book conveys is the power of friendship. It also depicts the role relationships play in shaping one’s life. While on one hand, a strong relationship can make your life, a bad one can even break the strongest of individuals leading him or her to take extreme steps. Readers also get a peek into the lives of Indians living in the United States.
The author has a flair for story-telling. She has taken great pain to go into the minutest details in her narration and at the same time has been careful enough to not miss out on vital details. The story movies seamlessly from chapter to chapter and all the details remain etched in your mind. So you will hardly find the need to move pages backward to check out for things you have forgotten especially a grizzly murder that is mentioned in the early part of the book and the events that led to it.
‘What Mina Did’ is one of those books that you can read fast and finish in one or two sittings.
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Excerpt from the book
When he left, Neelu sighed heavily. ‘No, Mina, he’s not a Hindu. His name is John …’ She stopped, sighed again. ‘Okay, there’s no good way to say this, so I’ll just spit it out. John’s not Indian. He’s from Boston. And he’s African-American.’