As an e-book, I think the cover should have been more interesting. Though the cover is good for the first two stories which include a tree, it doesn’t really suit the third one. Perhaps, the cover picture could be a female mythological figure or the author’s own imaginary creature considering that all the tales included them.
Name: Strangely Familiar Tales
Author: Vijayalakshmi Harish
Number of pages: 55
Availability: Pothi Store (Buy it here)
I was quite interested in the title and wondered what the strange tales were all about. But, then I guess, people in the world are strange and strange people do strange things, so, the title was quite good for the stories written in this book. But, just in case the author decides to write some more tales, I guess the apt title for this book should have been ‘Lakshmi’s Strangely Familiar Tales – Part 1’ or the like. It would have a personal touch and create a sequence/collection for all her books with strange tales.
The author has written in Indian-English. Therefore, this book can be enjoyed by an Indian or someone who knows India well, unless, they sit with Google. I did not find any grammatical errors and was very happy about it.
There were none available but the author did give warnings and introductions about what was to be expected in her book. I quite liked that. She was frank, yet humble.
If you are unaware of Hindu mythology, sit with Google by your side. Thanks to India’s Most Haunted, I know what a yakshi is now.
I also liked that the author referred her readers to a few books written by other authors.
After every tale, the author has mentioned her sources of inspiration for these stories. It gives a good insight about the story-line and meaning, so, that readers can understand the book better.
*A Fishy Affair*
From the beginning, I connected with the protagonist when she mentioned that, contrary to what people say, writing does not bring in the sort of money needed to survive in a city. I slipped into an imaginary world where, instead of a blogger, I was a detective, like her, and received those cheques with an impressive number of zeros on them. But, then the story came to an end and my bubble popped. It had quite a satisfying end though.
This story was totally my type of read. It included mystery, crime, suspense, detective work and some relationship gossip. In short, it was about love that turned sour due to politics and ego. You will enjoy it.
This was a mysterious story till the end, and yet quite interesting. I found many things to ponder on from it.
It began with the thoughts of a newly-wed orphan girl who was forced into marriage to a man 20 years older than her. After reading her fate, I hope parents realize that our lives are short and we should take care of ourselves and be there for our kids for as long as we can, because you never know how our friends and family will treat our kids when we are gone. It’s a cruel world out there.
This story also reminds us to live in the present and be thankful and cherish what we have instead of brooding over what we have lost, or what we do not have.
*A Definition of Evil*
To read this tale, I had to push myself through the beginning. It was filled with weretigers, nagins and yoginis. I had to read the story once again to understand what was happening. It becomes better only towards the end. We learn here that all culprits are not evil. Sometimes, the victims are the evil ones with power.
I did not find any areas for improvement. But, I would love to suggest that the author write more stories and release a big fat hardcopy which could be a collection of all her strange tales.
I felt that the book could have had more stories. But, still, I enjoyed reading the ones already in it.
Check out other books that I have read HERE.