A modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Persuasion. Eight years ago, family pride and an obstinate father had forced Anamika Eashwar to let go of the love of her life. Now he’s back again, a decorated captain of the Indian Navy. Will life offer her a second chance?
Honestly, I haven’t read Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion,’ the classic on which ‘Mr. Eashwar’s Daughter’ is based. Starting on a clean slate probably fared better for me since there wasn’t any scope of comparison or evaluation of the modern retelling. I’d rather share my two pence on ‘Mr. Eashwar’s Daughter,’ by the inimitable Debeshi Gooptu.
The story begins at the palatial but dilapidated Eashwar estate, with the landlord Wriddhish Eashwar struggling at his finances but too proud to admit his mistakes. Of his three daughters, Anamika is the most sensible and bright, a perfectly likeable Jane Austen heroine. She’s trying to hold the family together, silently, and prevent her patriarch from crumbling. With support only from her aunt, she takes a few steps, including a huge one of renting their estate in the hills and moving to an apartment in Calcutta. Fate takes her to Gurgaon and a chance meeting with her former love leads to further turmoils in her heart.
Anamika Eashwar is easily one of the characters in contemporary fiction that invokes compassion in the reader. Her struggles in life are actual, her love for family but realisation that they’re not saints is real, and her soft but firm nature is much appreciable. Although there were quite a few others in the story including Anamika’s sisters, her father, aunt and her former lover Freddy, the readers’ focus would keep coming back to Anamika. The way she handles situations and in few cases you’d wonder if she could have acted differently, is mostly commendable but Debeshi has made sure that she makes mistakes too. Because Anamika is real and you’re likely to see traits of her around in strong women.
I liked the subtle and staggered romance between Anamika and Freddy; their on and off meetings, always with a promise of something more that might happen, or might be lost forever. I kind of liked the climax, it culminated well with the story. I didn’t like Wriddhish Eashwar though and felt he was too pompous. Debeshi’s writing is fluid, it doesn’t halt the reader to ponder over strange words or unprecedented changes in the plot. I liked her balance of simple writing and a good story line.
Recommended for everyone who likes good writing.
My Rating: 4/5
About the Author:
Debeshi Gooptu is a former business journalist-turned-author who lives and works in Gurgaon. She always knew she wanted to be a writer. Or a musician. Her book DRAGON AUNTY RETURNS and short stories have been published by Juggernaut Books and Rupa Publications.
Language: English, Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
Author(s): Debeshi Gooptu
Publisher: Juggernaut, Year Published: May 2019
Format: Kindle, Edition: First, Pages: 229
This e-book is available on Juggernaut
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