Reading is the best escape and has managed to keep me sane and grounded in the past few months. I’ve read and reread quite a few of my favourites and have ventured into Hindi books too. Thanks to #BookChatter, I’m getting introduced to many new brilliant authors and have thoroughly enjoyed every experience. Today I’m reviewing Kintsugi by Anukrti Upadhyay.
About the book
Kintsugi is an ancient Japanese art of mending broken objects with gold. The title is quite thoughtfully chosen since jewellery-making and craftsmanship form an important part of this narrative, literally and figuratively. Set in Japan and Jaipur, this book chronicles the lives of four feisty women, each very different yet quite similar. It reiterates the fact that boundaries created by man cannot divide human feelings of attachment and desire.
Women have often found themselves face enormous resistance when it comes to opposing patriarchy or traditional dogmas. Is that enough to stop them from aiming for the skies though? The four women protagonists dare to dream and pour every bit of their resolve into achieving them. What more, they’re bold enough to leave behind the men who don’t fit into their scheme of things. How often do we get to see or read such stories?
If jewellery-making is an art, writing about how it is done is an art the author is brilliant at. Right from creating a drawing of an ornament and collecting its elements to firing it and giving it its final touches is elucidated in a wonderful hypnotic rhythm. The author deftly takes us through the narrow lanes of a typical jewellery bazaar in Jaipur on one hand while introducing us to quaint Japanese scenic mountain towns on the other.
Her beautiful writing just as easily weaves the stories around her protagonists, each of whom has her own battles to fight. All of them exist in shades of grey which makes them real and relatable. The moods and temperaments of her characters blend seamlessly with their setting. If India is about gender inequality, Japan offers confusion and insecurity. However, they see it all through on their own terms.
There are a couple of things that didn’t sit right with me though. While there’s a lot to speak about the women, the men are sadly under-utilised. Apart from being the object of desire they contribute precious little to the plot. A little characterisation could’ve added something more interesting to the story.
Written by a woman, Kintsugi outlines different facets that every woman will relate with. It has intelligent writing, a refreshing approach and the subtle sweetness of rebellion. A dictionary would be handy to have nearby. And oh, I just loved the monitor! Read the book to know about it.
My rating: *** 3/5 stars
About the author
Anukrti has written fiction and poetry in English and Hindi. She has published two English novellas and a Hindi collection of short stories. She has contributed in various literary journals too. She’s a law graduate and has done post-graduation in Management and literature. She’s currently working with a conservation think tank, Wildlife Conservation Trust and divides her time in Mumbai and Singapore.
Language : English
Genre : Fiction
Available in : Paperback and Kindle Edition