Book Review: More things in Heaven and Earth by Kiran Manral
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- Publisher : Amaryllis
- Year: 2021
- ISBN : 978-9390924080
About the Book
When Kamla Malik's husband Nihar dies of a heart attack in Goa, she’s devastated. Haunted by the lack of closure, she tries mediums, séances, and Ouija boards to help her establish contact. All she wants is a final goodbye. She tries to find him in the twisted labyrinthine worlds that he now inhabits, but does she really want him back, and worse if she finds him, will he let her go? Or is she, as the doctors believe, living in the tunnels of her mind, making it impossible for her to distinguish hallucination from reality? Coincidentally, her eccentric and ailing maternal aunt invites her to visit her splendidly isolated and crumbling villa in Goa.
Here, Kamla meets Victor, her aunt’s stepson. He stakes his claim over the villa and with it, over Kamla. While she accepts that Victor is her here and now, why does Nihar continue to torment her? Is she doomed to be forever haunted by him? An exquisitely sinister tale of bereavement and the grey lands between the dead and the living, both within the mind and outside of it, More Things in Heaven and Earth is the horror of what happens when love, obsession, and betrayal collide.
About the Author
Kiran Manral is an award-winning and bestselling author, TEDx speaker, columnist, and mentor. She has written books across genres in both fiction and non-fiction. She lives in Mumbai.
How do you mourn the loss of love?
This question has haunted us many times. The initial reaction of shock, moving towards anger and slowly metamorphosing into grief before collapsing into acceptance of the loss- is a journey not many can make it through and remain whole. Death shatters us in ways unknown. However much we want to tell ourselves, nothing can ever prepare us for the death of a loved one. And when that happens, we are left battling the pain for days, weeks, months, and sometimes years.
Best-selling author Kiran Manral’s latest work More things on heaven and earth (Amaryllis Publishers, 2021) is a mirror agonizing the pain and trauma of losing a loved one. Her primary character Kamla Mallik loses her husband and is completely devastated. Seeking closure, she ventures out to everything and anything that can faintly promise her that. From Ouija boards to mediums, she tries it all to no avail. Her heart is restless and her mind is in terrible agony. All she wants is one chance to say goodbye to her husband.
Kamla Mallik’s story holds you tightly enough to not let you go from Page 1 and loose enough to not suffocate you. As she tiptoes through her grief, you cannot help but feel for her. Her memories from a not-so-distant past and her inability to accept her present put a huge question mark on her future.
Despite being surrounded by friends and family, she is lonely in this battle of overcoming her husband’s death. Mallik reaches a stage where she wants to move on, but cannot. There is much more at stake here than just her emotions. Kamla Mallik discovers all that is at stake, one by one. These secrets are scary and life-threatening. The challenge to guess for whom!
It is interesting to see Manral grow as a writer through her books. From dabbling in fiction to non-fiction, experimenting with romance and drama before writing books on parenting, she has tried her hand at it all.
However, in this book, Manral unexpectedly surprises you. The tension created in the narrative is palpable throughout. The characters are an interesting mix of eeriness and eccentrics. The prose is layered beautifully with the perfect dose of suspense, thrill, romance, and mystery. With not a single dull moment in the narrative, the story is captivating till the end. (And maybe, after that too!)
Exploring various themes like death, relationships, love, and grief, Manral weaves an exceptional tale of love and redemption which ties the past with the future in a complicated present. The complexity of families and the secrets buried deep within the closets of their houses are bared to us in this book. The icing on the cake has to be the detailing done by Manral. Every aspect of the book is a visual treat for the reader as it creates stunning imagery of the place and the people in the story.
A strongly recommended read for its sheer thrill, captivating narrative, and some unforgettable characters.