Short of the ideal
The story of the two Pakistani teenagers Amina and Omar — the girl a Shia, the boy a Sunni — is not unhappy because their sectarian differences rule out a happy union. Their story, as narrated by Akbar Agha in his debut novel, is doomed because they are
part of a society that is in the grip of a rigid dogma and a feudal system that can shatter their dreams of a peaceful, equitable society. The human story is compelling but when it comes to discussing fundamentalist ideology, Agha is insipid, marring the overall texture of the book. The Fatwa Girl, Akbar Agha, Hachette India
Matters of the law
David Zinc, a Harvard law grad and burnt-out -at-31 attorney ends up seeking a job at Finley & Figg, an unimpressive law firm that deals in hustling injury cases. Fate has a surprise in store, when the firm becomes a part of a class action suit brought against the makers of an anti-cholesterol drug. Zinc is the good guy, but somewhat thinly drawn while the two original partners appear more fleshed out. Grisham’s understanding of the law helps him paint sympathetic portraits of those affected by the exercise of jurisprudence in society. The Litigators, John Grisham, Hachette
Heaven’s a lie
The need to provoke new ideas in the realm of thoughts must be a habit that dies hard, else what explains Agnostic Khushwant There is No God, Khushwant Singh’s gentle demolition of the necessity or relevance of god within the realm of organised religion. Khushwant shows religion has been more harmful than beneficial, rejects the promises of absolution that godmen and astrologers offer, and yet finds meaning and truth in the graceful lyrics and epithets of the holy books. Agnostic Khushwant There is No God,
Khushwant Singh with Ashok Chopra, Hayhouse.