Book Review: Shadows of the Past by Jeena R. Papaadi

Book Name: Shadows of the Past

Author: Jeena R. Papaadi

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Wordit Content Design & Editing Services

Rating: 3.9/5

Book Blurb: A wise person once said, “Coincidences do happen, that’s why they have a name.”

Sometimes these coincidences stop us on our tracks and make us wonder, “Was that really just a coincidence – or did the hand of Destiny strike ever so gently?” We call them ‘eerie’ or ‘uncanny’, or ‘a miracle’ or ‘a stroke of luck’ or ‘fate’.

Shadows of the Past takes you to the crossroads where coincidence meets luck, miracle meets destiny, on the thin line between the strange and the eerie. Perhaps those incidents are mere coincidences, and there is nothing inexplicable about them.

Or, perhaps not…

Review: Shadows of the Past is a collection of stories by the writer, Jenna R. Papaadi. The book derives its name from one of the stories “Shadows of the Past”.

Death is a constant theme in many of the stories but they are diverse and have layers, sort of a story within a story. This technique works well for the book. The first few stories are well-written and descriptive but the length reduces as the book progresses.

“The tragedy was not that he did not believe in astrology. The tragedy was that, he had made it a point to announce to the entire world, and then some, of his disbelief in what the stars foretold”.

The voice is inconsistent at several places but there is definitely a lot of material between these pages and Jenna has a good voice. She is articulate and can spin a good yarn.

The book lacks an overall theme that could bind all stories together but they hold up well individually on their own. Traffic and Shadows of the Past are two stories that stand out. The characters are relatable, the stories are believable and Jenna does a good job as a narrator.

Short stories with a twist ending work best but that’s a personal preference. There are some twists in these stories but not enough to peak a reader’s interest.

“You may be tempted to suggest ulterior motives behind my actions, or dig for other reasons, or call it a journey down destiny’s lane, or try to discover vested interests”.

Writing short stories is such a difficult task and most contemporary writers are attempting a full-length novel even though for developing writers, short stories are a much better medium. If you learn how to say it in a few words, then you can say it better in a longer format.

Shadows of the Past will leave you thinking and I guess if a book lingers with you long after you’ve read it, then the writer has managed a decent job. If you find yourself trying to forget what you’ve just read, then it is not a very good book. So Shadows of the Past is a good read given that short stories are a dying breed. At least some writers are trying to keep the craft alive!

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