Book Review: One Girl Many Lives
When five of my good friends have come together to write an anthology “One Girl, many lives“, I would automatically pick up that book for my next read. Only thing is that this time my review got delayed due to some personal reasons.
Genre: Short Stories
Publisher: Jimpify Publishers
Published Date: 14 February 2020
“One Girl Many Lives” brings together five writers to create five collaborative stories separated by time and space yet anchored together by life, loss, and a yearning to belong. Set in varied places but inspired by one single image, the stories explore the aftermath of momentous events that have shaped history and our times. A little girl loses her home and family in the Partition riots; another girl has to find a new home with her family in the aftermath of Black July. A young woman searches for love and companionship in New York at the turn of the millennium; a princess on the run traces back her family’s Royal roots in Paris; and an astronaut is at the center of a quest by her parents to honor her memory. Endearing, thrilling, gladdening, and heartbreaking, these stories capture how we view our identities in times of both peace and conflict.
My Thoughts on One Girl Many Lives:
This book has used a unique concept. One picture prompt has been used by 5 different authors to weave a beautiful story, without digressing from the main prompt. That’s not all, there is another twist in this book. All five authors have contributed to all five stories. One has to read it carefully to understand the subtle differences in the storytelling style of each author. But the beauty of the editor and also the authors is that nowhere the story was left hanging or the styles got changed abruptly. We need to give credit to that water-tight editing for this book.
All five stories have been set at five different time frames and zones. But in all of them, the main common plot of how the girl is running from the society, people, and traditions stays the same. I read the first story, “The Lone flight” over the weekend, and it wasn’t an easy read. The story just wouldn’t leave my mind and it needed some deep thinking from my end.
The same goes with all the other stories as well. The only story that paled a little bit when compared to the other stories is the Love 2K. In this story, the protagonists are stuck in solving the Y2K problem and their love problems. There is no physical girl, who is running away from the situations, but it’s the metaphor which the authors allude to. Through the help of the characters, one may embark on self-discovery and realization in this story. Only thing is that the narration wasn’t as gripping as that of the others.
In a similar way, all the stories of this book “One Girl Many Lives” are laden with deeper meanings than one can decipher in the first reading. That’s the reason, why these stories wouldn’t leave the mind of the readers even after we finish the reading. I am not revealing the other stories as otherwise, I might be spoiling the fun for the readers.
My Recommendations on One Girl Many Lives:
Now the question, that enters your mind, is that whether I would recommend this book or not. Yes, I would recommend this book to all people who love short stories or anthologies. Also for the people who would like to explore their inner feelings and think about them. Normally, only self-help or psychology books would enable the reader to explore their deeper self. But the way, the stories have been written by all five authors leaves a permanent mark on the readers. That mark allows the readers to think deeper and come out with positivity, as the dilemma and the situations these protagonists have faced are so different and even difficult. But when they are able to emerge stronger, why can’t we is my question to the readers.
About the team of the Authors:
Ajit Yadav: Ajit is a sports lover, and enjoys all the different sports. One can find his musings on a lot of stuff, whatever interests him on his blog.
Anshu Bhojnagarwala: Anshu is meant to be a storyteller right from her childhood. Even today, she lets her imagination run wilder by creating fascinating plots and characters. She tries her hands at multiple genres. Her parenting blog, Firsttimemommy.net is one of the top 20 first-time mom blogs.
Jithin, S: Jithin considers himself as an accidental writer, even though he has a couple of books published in his name. He expresses himself through his lens and pen at his blog, trablogger.
Priya Bajpai: Priya is a short story author and poet. Many of her works have been published in mainstream newspapers. She also keeps trying her hands at weaving stories across multiple genres. Her reflections can be found on her blog, Priyreflects.
Sona Grover: Sona is an author, blogger, book lover and she enjoys nature and long walks. You can find her reflections on her blog.