Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Book Review: A Fool's Errand by Vanita Bodke


(I thank the author for this review copy. The views expressed here are entirely mine and remain uninfluenced)


Revati Kadam's typical middle-class life begins to spiral out of control when she receives a fancy invitation to a fancy party from her one-time boyfriend, Vijender, driving a rift between her and her husband Ritwik. At work, a promotion she never asked for pushes her to rethink her professional relationships and at Vijender's party, as more revelations spill out, Revati realises she is in a fight to save her career and her marriage.

Will Revathi be successful in her quest? Or is it all nothing more than A Fool's Errand?


With an interesting title and unique premise, ‘A Fool’s Errand’ looked like a book I should not miss. I spent lesser time than usual while thinking about the premise and jumped into the book directly. And from there, I never did put it down until I reached the last page.

That is enough to show how interesting the book was, as it kept me going – turning page after page without checking how much of the story remained. When trying to describe it in a line (or even a paragraph) I could see that the real depth of the story could not be brought out, for it lies in between the lines.

A woman caught between a tough career-altering choice and also a marriage that is not exactly going how she saw it/wanted it to – and how she reacts to the changes around her make up the story. Revati Kadam is the classic protagonist; a reflection of a modern day married career woman who is both driven and insecure – an eclectic mix.

The people who influence her decisions, be it her kindly, driven boss-mentor, the office’s groomed decision maker who fans the insecurity, the husband who differs from her mind’s perception of his nature, and the few other players including colleagues and so on who each have a part to play in her choices.

The best thing about the story is that it does not dawdle in any place. The pace is not quite even, but it clearly does not slacken anywhere. Even if you are a stranger to the industries mentioned there, the generalization and explanation are enough so that you could follow the story clearly. The only drawback I could notice was that you need to remember the company names – and which people belonged where.

The second best thing was the way it progressed, from the lead trying to adapt to a world she wants to surround her, and instead taking the very decisions that would mean a sea of change in her life.

The ending, according to me, left a few things to be desired, including wrapping things up pretty quickly and leaving a few questions hanging – but that was only a need for a closure. But if it were to stay true to its nature, the underlying story is what stands out at the end.

Overall – A Fool’s Errand is a book that must not be missed, for it could be that story that could change the perspective of a lot of woman who will feel this setting is all too familiar. It may just be one question, or this one book, that could make you question what you think you are used to.

Verdict: Interesting narrative, excellent pace; a quick and engaging read.

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Book Review: Along Came A Spyder by Apeksha Rao

 (I thank and the author for this review copy. All views expressed here are mine, and remain uninfluenced)

If I am asked to define this book in one line, I would say it is a humorous spy thriller that keeps the reader engaged until the last page.

But that line does not do justice to the complete riot that this book actually is!

Samira Joshi was an instant hit for me as a reader, and the charm of the book with her first person account of her experiences. Her rebellious attitude, kind heart, and the crazy family make for interesting elements throughout the book, giving the reader a glimpse into the minds of determined teens with set dreams.

Apeksha Rao has captured the essence of the story outline and has kept the pace engaging throughout. Be it with the parents’ conflicted mind of being RAW agents themselves and wanting their daughter to study medicine (with good reason) or the daughter’s determination to follow their footsteps and become a secret agent herself – the dimensions to the characters are deeply etched and a treat to read.

My favourite moments in the story are when Samira saves her father’s life with quick thinking the second time – which shows her finally winning over her fear, and when the girls join hands to bring down a narcotics ring – which shows the power of having courageous teenage spies.

When reading the book, it is obvious that the author has not treated the subject lightly, and has researched all aspects of being secret agents, including the psychological effects of the associated trauma and the constant clash between bureaucracy and field agents. The story had enough in it to both excite and inform the reader.

The humour in the first person narrative is unmatched – and ranges from sardonic punches to dry witty jokes. The end product is a book that mixes multiple elements seamlessly, ensuring that it has a little of everything to entice every type of reader.

Verdict: Along Came a Spyder – a laughter-inducing, edge-of-the-seat page-turner that you must not miss!

I sure am picking up the other books of the author.

Rating: 4/5

Purchase Links: Amazon