Book Review: The Storyteller’s Secret By Sejal Badani

*Disclaimer: There may be some spoilers in the following review, READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED*

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Synopsis:

The Storyteller’s Secret is a story of the love and pain that a family has faced spanning generations. Jaya is an Indian-American who, after suffering multiple miscarriages and ultimately putting a strain on her marriage, journeys to India to learn about her mother’s family that had pushed Jaya’s mother away many years ago. While she’s there, Jaya meets Ravi, who used to be a servant in her grandparent’s household, and one of the closest friends of Jaya’s grandma, Amisha. Ravi’s story about Amisha sheds light on secrets that Jaya’s family had kept hidden for so long and leads Jaya to reflect on her own life up until now.

Plot:

The plot of the story mainly focuses around the story of Jaya’s grandmother Amisha, and how her life affected Jaya’s mother, and ultimately, Jaya herself. I love that the plot of the story is revealed through storytelling, as it’s one of my favorite methods of a novel to reveal itself. For the most part, the plot was suspenseful enough that I wanted to know what would happen next, even though elements of it were predictable at certain points. Overall, this wasn’t a huge deal to me because I was caught up in the characters of the story, especially as this is a more character driven novel.

Characters:

As I just mentioned before, this is a more character driven novel, and overall, I love the characters in the novel. They had been fleshed out and thought they were flawed and realistic, the characters also had a likable quality about them. The novel is a dual perspective, told from Jaya and Amisha’s point of views. I enjoyed reading from both POV’s and watching Jaya learn and develop herself, while Amisha was facing difficult decisions and figuring out how to overcome them. I also thought that Ravi and Amisha’s husband were developed in an interesting manner, because Ravi makes what he considers a terrible mistake, and spends his life trying to make up for that mistake, while Amisha’s husband isn’t the best husband to Amisha, yet in the end, tries to do the right thing for the women he grows to love.

One of my favorite aspects of the novel is that I actually cared about what happened to the characters, and that I wanted them to have the best ending possible.

Writing Style:

When I first started reading the book, I found the writing style quite jarring, because it was, I would say, “simple” (no purple prose here), with short sentences. It was off putting enough where I was taken out of the story several times and made me not like the story as much. However, throughout the novel, I don’t know if I just got more used to the style, or if it just ended up flowing with the story as it progressed, but I ultimately ended up liking it in the end.  The “simple” writing style was emphasized especially in comparison to the stories that were told throughout the novel, the writing there was beautifully done and had a good flow with it.

As I write this, I wonder if the author meant for it to be like that. She didn’t want Jaya’s voice to overpower the stories told by Amisha throughout the novel, so Jaya’s perspective was written in a less “purple prose” type way.

Overall Thoughts:

Overall, I thought that this was a well written novel, with great characters and an interesting plot revealed to us through one of my favorite methods: one of the characters telling a story.  I thought the novel had a good pace to it, and I also appreciate the fact that the author incorporates the issues that India has had to deal with in the past, and how that shapes India in the modern day. I only have some minor issues with the novel, which was the jarring writing style at times, the fact that some of the plot points were predictable, and the ending was kind of cheesy and wrapped up almost too  nicely, but none of it was a big enough issue for me to enjoy the novel in the end. Plus, I kind of like cheesy happy endings sometimes, and I think that this had done it in a way that was enjoyable, but still gave you a warm fuzzy feeling on the inside.

I would rate The Storyteller’s Secret a 4.5/5 stars.

Thank you for reading guys, I hope you enjoyed the review!

Have a wonderful week, and I will see you in the next post!

Erin 🙂

 

Twitter: @ENordhof

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

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