Book Review: The Servant Boy by Reesha Goral

  • ISBN: 978-1633933439
  • Genre: Fiction / Drama
  • Publishers: Koehler Books
  • Price: Rs.999/-  ( I got the book for review from the author)
The Servant Boy highlights the adventures of Zayne Shah, a young man who lives through the most horrific disaster his village, Saidpur, has ever seen. An epidemic has unknowingly raged through Saidpur and is taking the lives of umpteen folk before his eyes. Zayne is determined to find a cure to the mystery, at whatever the cost may be, even if that cost is a price he cannot presently afford.

Zayne goes through a series of ups and downs as he takes you with him, embracing life through vivid details, all of which include paradoxes that anyone from any walk of life can relate to: life and death, happiness and grief, love and envy, friendship and animosity.

Although The Servant Boy is a multicultural novel, and will appeal to those that will enjoy learning about the colorful and vibrant culture of Pakistan, it will also enchant those who enjoy mystery, fantasy, adventure, friendship, and romance. There is something in the novel for everyone.

Behind the Book

About the Author

Reesha Goral is a young novelist who resides in Virginia with her husband and son. Although The Servant Boy is her first novel, it had its first debut in Istanbul, Turkey where it was translated in Turkish and published under the Turkish title, U┼čak. In inspiration of writing The Servant Boy, she was deeply impacted by her many visits to Pakistan. On an account of engaging with an unsheltered woman, she spoke, "People are dying of hunger every year. They are people with bare necessities who have to instead improvise, with barely any. And that only makes them living, lifeless people." Her various other personal experiences, research, and imagination assembled the rest of the novel.

You can reach the author at : Website | Facebook PageInterview

Me thinks

When I was approached by the author for a review the one line that struck me the most was this "In inspiration of writing this book, she was deeply impacted by her many visits to Pakistan." I was sold! If you have been following my blog you would know about my love for Pakistani literature, stories which speak about their culture, movies and television serials. Though since last 2 years I am off television I have always admired their stories which have a very heartwarming manner of dealing with human relationships. This book is one such beautiful reminder. 

The author with her words managed to teleport me to Pakistan with Zayne as I witnessed his whole life. Such tenderness and detailing in describing the trials and tribulations of human life, the author won my heart with her narrative. Just when I was about to conclude that the plot is cliche, the author sprung a surprise and thereafter kept bringing up surprise after surprise keeping me glued till the last page. (P.S: I finished the book in one go!) I couldn't concentrate on anything else till I had known what happens to Zayne and for that I would give brownie points to the author. Not writing a murder mystery or suspense novel and yet engaging the reader to this extent showcases her finesse in story telling.

I loved the liberal usage of Urdu words across the book, it kind of helped give the book a more rustic local and authentic feel. Her description was so powerful that even if I forgot the name of the place where the story was set, the details would constantly remind me that this was a story based in Pakistan. The other thing I enjoyed the most was the characters. They were so sharp and engaging. Though there were more than one lead characters, at no point was it confusing enough to make you feel who did what and flip pages back to verify. By the time the book ended you felt they were your friends and you knew them very well. This is one book that grows on you as you read it, pulling you along with it and leaving you feeling as if you have just witnessed magic. Take a bow , Reesha Goral you have managed to touch my heart with this book which has now been tagged under "My favourites", something I will keep going back to again and again purely for the beauty of the story it holds.

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Kashmiri Pulav - delicious, flavourful in every bite that keep escalating as you eat the whole dish!

Source: Tasty Appetite