Jacob Hills ~ Ismita Tandon Dhankher ~ Book Review

Image Source: Ismita Tandon Facebook Cover Album

Jacob Hills is yet another fantastic book from Ismita’s pen; having read her first book, ‘Love on the Rocks’, I had a lot of expectation on this and she in fact wrote a wonderful book, which dealt with grave social issues and murder mystery. A fresh read this is!

I have a habit of observing the cover of any book that I read and this one has a lot to offer, bright sunset, a lonely road and a hill to paint a murder mystery in mind and I am sure that one cannot put down the book after reading the blurb of the story.

The blurb:
It’s just another evening at the Tiller’s Club.

Capt. Rana, a Young Officer training at the War College, stands at the bar, deliberately is avoiding his pregnant wife, Heena. Saryu, village belle-turned-modern babe, drink in hand, chats up another YO. Her husband, Maj. Vikram Singh, shoots angry glances at her. The flamboyant Lt. Col. Gary Randhawa and his wife Pam chat merrily with the senior officers – who’d guess that they lead an underground swinger couples’ club?

In a corner stands Eva, the beautiful Anglo-Indian wife of Maj. George Chandy, who finds herself at the heart of a murder mystery. The murdered woman’s body is covered with cigarette burns. A six-year-old girl’s wrist is similarly marked. Another little girl shows signs of severe abuse.

This is Jacob Hills: an army station that houses the War College. A world of genteel conversation, smart men and graceful women. Set in the 1980s – in a country on the cusp of tradition and Westernized modernity – Jacob Hills is the story of what lies beneath the smooth veneer. It’s a noxiousness the Chandys must confront if their love is to survive Jacob Hills.

Now you would agree that it is a good snapshot of what to expect and supports the title with a clear pointer to the army station at Jacob Hills. Being a lover of fragrances and smells (as said in post no. 400), this one was smell worthy!

If you expect me to write about the author, I would first say she is first a fantastic poet, though she tags herself as A Lesser Known Poet and blogging at www.lesserknownpoet.com. A good friend and a kind-hearted person who wants me to get published and I hope I would get published someday soon. Her poem, ‘I Am Beautiful’, won a prize in the Yahoo-Dove IndiBlogger contest and, several other poems have won hearts for her. She’s also the author of the romantic thriller Love on the Rocks, released in 2011. And she is currently working on The Song of the Sufi Masroof, a book of photographs and poems.

After the brief note and before the heart-wrenching prologue, a meaningful poem:

A life without love
Is like a park without children,
Bereft of laughter, of innocence…
Like a temple without God,
A book without a reader,
A man without a woman,
Yet, many a senseless life is spent,
Craving the pleasures of the flesh…

The story:
Like the dogs Bozo and Bullet, she and he and his favourite game, to kiss and burn. He’s a coward and a cowards always stabs in the back. She is found dead with cigarette burns on her body in an old abandoned church in Jacob Hills. Eva, who has moved recently to Jacob Hills with her husband Maj. George Chandy, finds her bleeding badly, admits her in the hospital with the help of Maj. Alex, where she breathes the last. No one is able to identify who the woman is and so she is cremated at government expense. A six-year-old girl’s wrist is similarly marked. Another little girl shows signs of severe abuse. Col. Sampat along with Eva and George resolves the mystery behind the murder and discovers some dark secrets of the residents of Jacob Hills.

This story offers you a lot of things – a newly married couple, child sexual abuse, an ill-mental man, sexual flavours, wife swapping, parties, drinks and get together. In total, Ismita has woven a good decent that keeps you glued till the very end.

Like in her first book, Ismita has many POV’s narrating the story, which I liked a lot as I could see the story through the characters eyes 🙂

PLOT: 4.5/5
TWISTS: 4.5/5

Overall, the story is interesting and well written and talks about the grave social issues; it is a book worth reading, so do check it out.

Book Details:
Title: Jacob Hills
Author: Ismita Tandon Dhankher
Paperback: 259 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (May 2013)
Genre: Mystery
Read: Paperback
Buy on: FlipKart
Facebook | Goodreads

* A heartfelt thanks to IndiBlogger, Harper Collins India and Ismita for sending the book and to my dearest wife for carrying the book all the way to Hamburg, Germany 🙂

** Keeping the review short and simple, as last time I wrote almost the complete story of ‘Love on the Rocks‘ as review 😛

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Jacob Hills is yet another fantastic book from @IsmitaTandon’s pen; a murder mystery. A fresh read it is! Review: http://t.co/KXR9Lo4MxO
— Someone is Special (@FewMiles) September 8, 2013

Muses of Wandering Passions – Chimnese Davids – #BookReview

Promises are never meant to be broken. Though a lot of times they are broken, still a promise is a promise; in fact, it is a huge word. I accepted the invite of Chimnese Davids to review her debut poetry book, “MUSES OF WANDERING PASSIONS” despite the busy personal schedule. I thought I could complete it on time, but even after a month, and a half of dozen of reminders, I’m yet to write a review.

Why am I hesitant to write a review? It is such an amazing poetry book. The title in itself expresses how the author feels about writing and I so wanted to give my best shot to write a detailed review about it. The author starts with a beautiful quote about change in life.

Change is possible if you allow it to happen. Nothing in life is constant; it’s always evolving and that’s how life happens for me. Through my adversities, I can reach new heights.” – Chimnese Davids

In Editor’s words:
The book is the very definition of sadness and of loss. Its undiluted mourning grips the reader: within the starkness, the sincerity of recollections in fairness to the one causing the broken heart is touching: “That is what you meant to me: a light that shone through the darkness.” (Your smile, p. 56)

The book contains the pensive reflections on a life that passed, but also the effects of it in the now. It brings a test of ability to those in need; a showdown. The reader is gently guided to assess own love. It is often better to look at the self through the eyes of others.

It is true that Ms. Davids guide us to assess one’s own love through her words; love in scripted words.

In Author’s words:
Writing for me has always been an escape; a way to express my true feelings. I write about my circumstances and how they affect me; how I would change them if I could. I write down my hopes and my dreams. I pour out all my joy and my sadness and this verbalization keeps me sane. It keeps me from losing the one small piece of me that remains hidden away, where no one could find it. It is a way to express what is in my heart and soul; those deep places where many people hesitate to venture.

When you write, you are tapping into your inner soul and it is really hard to lie to yourself, when you are putting words down that translate emotions that cannot be denied. There is much I can say about my writing, about my book, or every story I have ever written in my life, but the one conclusion that really stands out, is this: I know there is power in words, power to express and to heal one. My wandering imagination never gives up on me and always finds ways to explore what my emotions entail.

Words are God’s gift to mend a broken soul.

I second that.

The Book:
An 88-page book made of golden words touches your inner soul to assess one’s love. The poems are grouped under seven categories that take one through a rollercoaster ride of life and each of those poems stand on their own. I would like to pick a few and say why I liked it so much.

Finding a feather on your path
She wore the symbolic feather;
most said it was a figment of her
yet it stood written in the book
of philosophy that she would
wear the symbolic feather,
but she is the messenger.

To write a figment of imagination as a message to this world is a sweet gesture.

Walking in the rain
I speak in a passionate voice:
“God, is this blessing your tears
wanting to wash away
the pain we all carry inside?”
It’s only when the winter comes
that rain pours down
cleansing my face,
a face that needed this rain
so the pain doesn’t remain …

The message conveyed in the poem is very strong that God thus washes away the pain we all carry inside in form of rain.

Where faith leads me
They are two lost souls that are currently on
a journey of their own.
Yet, their faith in meeting
doesn’t falter, because they believe
in the Divine Love of His Spirit,
that dwells in each of us.

Ms. Davids said it all…

Underneath the dark shines a light
I can feel it loosen, I can feel the weight
lifting off my shoulders,
and I can feel my eyes burning by light.
Finally, I can see faces of people smiling,
as a bright light took me into its
waiting arms.

Sometime words cannot say it…

Can’t breathe without you
I can’t breathe,
I can’t eat,
I can’t seem to find a way
out this maze my heart
has let me walk.
I need your passion;
I can’t breathe without you.
Just bring your heart back to me,
because I can’t let go,
I won’t give up;
not on my heart.
Without you I can’t breathe.
I am still in love with you …

If you are a lighthearted person then please do not read the above one.

Empty Bottle
I miss you popping up on my screen.
It’s like I am left with an empty half:
you know, when a bottle is full
and you pour it half way?
That is how I feel … like a half-empty bottle.
I write these words mostly for me,
just to remember what you meant to me.
That feeling that you would always be there.

Like…an half-empty bottle I feel; lost in words…

You give me the faith of love,
believing in passion and desires
as my lips touch my beloved,
as her caresses puts me in a mood
of great desire, filled in the depth
of our souls, combining
us as one.

A postcard from heaven
Dear, I have been sending you
a postcard ever since I have left;
I have kept most of the letters
knowing it would never reach you,
but this might be the last one since
you are coming here soon.
I can’t wait to be reunited with you.
I love you and miss you;
I’ll be there, waiting near the white gate
as you walk over that cloud.
You will love it here.
Till we meet again.
Postcard from heaven, with love.

This is my favorite poem of all. I love this 🙂

About Chimnese Davids:
Chimnese Davids is South African, accounts clerk and freelance writer. Her first publication was with an online magazine Allthings Girl in 2010.She had also been published in three anthologies, Step Into My Shoes published through Jafansta. Inc in June 2011 and Love In Creativity, published through Jingle and Gooseberry Garden Community in March 2012.She was 12 years old when she started writing and won a contest in 1996.Her debuted poetry and prose collection, “Muses of Wandering Passions” is her first book published. Her editor and publisher (KREATIVSA~ August 2012) said that the book would be a guide to her readers to find hope in their own strength and how the heart can heal itself in time with the true nature of her spiritual journey that would take the reader to places they’ve never searched within themselves.

Book Details:
Title : Muses of Wandering Passions
Author : Chimnese Davids
Publisher : KREATIV SA
Launch Date : 14 October 2012
Where : Cape Town ~ South Africa
Email ID : chimnese@gmail.com
Goodreads : http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6519372.Chimnese_Davids
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/chimhill.ff.net
Twitter : https://twitter.com/mspoeticgirl
Page : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chims-World-of-Literature/202798436401115
Website : http://musesofwanderingpassions.webs.com/

Book Links:
Link to Amazon
Link to Goodreads

Ms. Davids has saved the best for the last ones. The Poet’s Voice section and the poem New Possibilities are my personal favorites.

To conclude, I would say this is a book to be read to assess one’s love. You will walk into the depth of Ms. Davids feelings when reading the poetry, and finally you’ll be in tears. I’m sure Ms. Davids will be winning many awards and will reach heights. I would like to give four out of five stars for her work and I wish her Good luck 🙂

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Not Totally Unbelievable ~ Vibhuti ~ Book Review ~ Someone is Special

Seeing is Believing” – Can we believe whatever we see? Sometimes we have too, that’s why life is Not Totally Unbelievable. Vibhuti Bhandarkar (Vibz), my bloggerdost, and my first critique, is a graphic designer by profession and blogger by passion. She is a prolific writer and avid reader. And she published her first book titled “Not Totally Unbelievable” – a collection of short stories. (PS: Vibz, I expected a short story of type Maiden Over)

About her – in her words:
I’m an artist but writing is my passion, hence I blog! I’m humble, little ME, revelling in my own sweet world! There are many a dreams to realize and many beautiful things to do… There’s one life to live and that’s exactly WHAT I DO! 😀

Having read her blog for more than two years, I find the book very interesting. The cover of the book is refreshing for the readers and invites to read it at a go, probably when you sip a cup of coffee. The title of the stories says it all and the stories have all the elements of life. The highlights are the character sketches, the details that make the stories alive and the plot. The stories have a positive vibe to inspire the readers and every story is unique in its own say. I will pick, “At the Lingnan Tea House”, “Trekking through time”, “Unheard” and “A little thing called love” as my personal favourite. The author’s effort to make the book simple and thoughtful is commendable. Totally, this book is a perfect read.

I really do not have any complaints against this book other than the cost of the book because it is a bit small compared to some of the other books available in the market at the same price (Rs 95). But that’s ok because one can afford a little more for a perfect read. Usually, I rate the books I read, but it is impossible to rate your bloggerdost book.

And, “Congratulations to you on your first attempt as a budding writer. I look forward to read your novel soon Vibz.”

Book Details

Title: Not Totally Unbelievable
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
Author: Vibhuti Bhandarkar
Edition: Paperback
Language: English
ISBN: 978-9381576656
Pages: 72

For more info

FB Book Page: Not Totally Unbelievable
Blog: Klishmaklaver
Email: vibhuti.bb@gmail.com

You can buy the book from Flipkart here. (PS: Flipkart service is rocking!)