Anatomy of Choice written by Harshali Singh and published by Readomania is the 2nd book in the Haveli series. The Haveli series is about the Sharma family which resides in an old haveli in the bylanes of Old Delhi. While the first book ‘A Window to her dreams’ is about the eldest daughter of the family Aruna..the 2nd book is about the 2nd daughter, the volatile and wild Bhavya.
The book starts off with an unusual choice that Bhavya and her boyfriend make to get the spark back into their relationship, a choice which although made by both of them, leads Bhavya to the cross roads where she needs to choose between her love and her independence. And thats what makes the story unique..because Bhavya’s struggles are internal. She isn’t a victim, she isnt the quintessential ‘abla auraat’ who rises from her ashes. She is someone most of us would identify with… someone who can fall in love, someone who can be weak and frail but also someone who simply wants to live life on her own terms. It aint easy we all know, given the definitions of happiness and well being that are thrust upon a woman by the society.
Interwined with Bhavya’s story is the story of the the coutesan Noorie, which Bhavya stumbles upon in her father’s study. It is no mean feat to keep the reader equally invested in 2 parallel stories… both with similar undertones of love, longing and the price that women pay to live a life of their choice.
What needs a special mention is how wonderfully Harshali etches her characters… While the story concentrates on Bhavya.. It is an ensemble cast that Harshali deals with… With 7 siblings, their parents, Suresh Uncle and Gaurav. But like a skilled juggler she ensures each of the characters are given the right amount of attention and space without digressing from the main plot. Each of the characters are distinct and well put together. A special mention for her hereos.. Tensing and Kabir…beware you will end up falling in love with them.
Kudos to Harshali for bringing to us a relatable character…because even women who are strong can falter.. because even women who are in love might need more than just love…and motherhood isnt the answer to all doubts and questions in a woman’s life. Though I am quite envious of Bhavya for having a job that she can choose to sideline and ignore for months at end, quite unlikely for someone who values a career and financial independence so much…but then thats Bhavya I guess… Unpredictable!
Anatomy of Choice is an engaging, heartwarming read which strives to explore choices (or the lack of it) that women make and the consequences thereof…. And while the book can be easily read and understood even if you havent read the 1st book of the series… I will recommend that you do not miss Aruna’s story…it is an equally wonderful read!
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