‘A journey of love and incredible self-discovery’
Book Review: Without You
Author: Preethi Venugopala
Rating: Four stars
Publisher: Write India
‘Why was it that we wished for things we couldn’t get?
Why did things that could never be ours, lure us, and then vanish mere hairbreadths away from our reach?
Why was letting go so hard?”
Preethi Venugopla’s ‘Without You’ is simple love story set in Sreepuram where Ananya falls in love with Arjun. As fate would have it, the lovers find each other in Dubai and love is rekindled where they discover each other in this enchanting journey of love, life’s philosophy and destiny. It’s an endearing love story where Preethi has built suspense, surprise, yeah, a very interesting twist in the tale that one finds in movies. Love can never fail us when our destiny is chartered by an invisible power. Evil is present but strong love always wins.
The novel starts in a lyrical fashion, flawless description of the life of Ananya coupled with endearing characters such as Ammama that grabs one’s attention from start to finish. It’s engrossing, lovely with twists and friendships Ananya carves in her life. At one glance, ‘Without You’ is about love but not without its share of troubles. A refreshing, captivating and alluring story that has all the ingredients of success.
‘Without You’ is a distinct love story where author Preethi Venugopala has introduced a very novel concept with quotes at the start of every chapter. Meet Ananya, the doting child of the endearing Ammamma, a lovable and endearing grand-mother, who understands her child since she is guided by kindness and love for humanity. It’s a dream grandma one would love to have and she is super cool, believing in love and ahead of baton welding authoritative figures. Preethi has spun a love story in depicting characters we would relate to, Vishal Ananya’s brother, who is someone who loves his sister to death and, of course, the backbone of the story, Colonel Uncle. The latter is my favorite character and plays a pivotal role in the novel. He comes as an angel in the life of Ananya and acts as her guiding force.
The novel is engrossing where the author injects a certain sensitivity and suspense towards the end that would make you stop for a while. It remains the high moment in this beautiful love story where good meets evil-in the form of Arjun’s mother, Shakuntala. The scenes are beautifully etched in a simple manner and the moment Colonel Uncle reveals his true form, it gives a certain depth and edge to the story. The climax couldn’t get better than that! It’s powerful and mesmerizing writing at the same time. Preethi has depicted Ananya as an innocent girl who believes in goodness and the moment she faces her first heart break, it shakes her. Preethi has beautifully captured the emotions in the book. It’s compelling read and you cannot afford to miss, ‘Without You.’ She ends the book beautifully with amazing quotes reflecting love and life. The flow of sequences are well etched where friendship is explored and tapped beautiful from Sreepuram to life in Dubai, the emirati bliss. There are some entirely lovable characters such as Khushi, Poornima, Ananya’s sisters in arms and the wacky and crazy lots Tom and Lily.
“What could I do to make him fall in love with me. If anyone knew how to brew the perfect love potion that would have made him fall in love with me, I would have bought it, bartering my soul…I had built an emotional barrier around me…Arjun had broken each of those defenses with ease and had cemented a permanent place in my heart.”
“New found love is like a nectar you can never have enough. Its sweetness bedazzled me. I would be happy even if I drowned in it and died.”
“Many lives Many Masters have spoken of even the same souls reincarnating to fulfill their unfulfilled dreams. To experience it was an entirely different thing. Was it just my berserk imagination which was pulling me into a well of impossibilities? What was the purpose of all this?”
The first issue I have with the novel is that the character of Vishal, my namesake, has not been sufficiently explored. Dr Vishal is one character that readers gonna love where I feel the palpable chemistry with Anaya as siblings, should have been given a bigger space. The character’s Vishal, no doubt Preethi would have given him nuances that would be winning hearts. But, I am told justice will be restored. No! I am not spilling the beans! Moreover, Dr Arjun’s mother had a change of heart so swiftly where both mother and son have a change of heart. It happened so swiftly and guess, should be blamed on my ‘self’ who love drama. Yeah! I would love ‘Without You’ to be longer.
‘Without You’ is the perfect pick this season. It’s about love, beliefs and the triumph of love over evil. Preethi has injected a simple philosophy of life: When you have a guiding force, nothing will go wrong at the end. It’s all about chemistry, Ananya with Dr Arjun, Ananya with Ammamma, Ananya with Colonel Uncle and Vishal. It’s all about love, anti-climax, suspense. Go and grab your copy for ‘Without You’ will touch your heart. A mind-blowing debut and a master coup.