'Houses are like people, are they not, they have a soul, a heart, they live and breathe". That is Rose Bazelet, a widow in mid-19th century Paris, distraught that her beloved house is about to be razed to the ground to make way for the boulevard Saint-Germain, confiding her fear and despair through love letters addressed to her dead husband even as her furniture is being moved out. Written in spartan yet appealing prose, the book evokes worlds that are lost for the sake of necessary change.
The House I Loved
Tatiana De Rosnay
Rs 350 pp 258
The lessons we take from the pioneers of nonviolent resistance can be like bandages and snacks we carry for the journey, write the authors of this book, which is meant to be an inspirational guide and ready reckoner of such movements from across the world. Resistance leaders and movements, from Mahatma Gandhi to the 'Mothers of the Disappeared' in Argentina find a place. The gaps in research (India wasn't colonised by the British for 300 years) remain a shame though.
Anne Sibley O'Brien & Perry Edmond O'Brien
Rs 350 pp 198
All for revenge
The author is a 'versatilist', says the blurb on the back cover of the book. The plot of her novel, not so. A straight-as-the-crow flies revenge motif - Nivedita and Abhaya hunting down Raul the criminal - being the pivot around which the action unfolds, one wonders why it takes 365 pages (in fairly small print) for the conclusion to arrive. Perhaps because Sharma regards no thought or movement safe enough to be left to the readers' imagination, spelling it out in all its superfluous detail.
Not Just Fate
Shilpa Arora Sharma
Rs 160 pp 365