Book Review: Tides Don’t Cross by Simar Malhotra

Book Name: Tides Don’t Cross

Author: Simar Malhotra

Publisher: Rupa

Genre: Fiction

Rating: 3.4/5

Book Blurb: Sparks fly immediately when Rukmani—fierce and assertive in the best and worst possible ways—meets the gentle Ayaan in the magical city Paris. Meanwhile, back in India, her reticent sister, Mrinalini struggles to cope with the void of a loveless marriage and an early pregnancy.
Tides Don’t Cross follows these extremely interesting characters as their lives cross in surprising ways. Mrinalini, Ayaan and Rukmani wade through choppy tides, unaware of their common destiny. Deeply touching, this is an unforgettable story of thwarted desires, of love and its loss, of losing and finding oneself, and of falling and learning to rise.
Young and talented author Simar Malhotra has created yet another piercing and riveting read.

Review: The story essentially recounts the clash of cultures or more correctly different lifestyles of two sisters, Rukmani and Mrinalini and their partners respectively.

The first part about Mrinalini and her relationship with her mother, her reluctance in meeting a prospective match and her eventual submission to a life she did not choose makes for a very interesting read. It is something that is frequently encountered in contemporary India and has been told with detail and empathy.

The novel starts very well but loses its plot and symmetry in between and it becomes boring in the end. The different contemporary lifestyles of Mrinalini and her soon to be husband was recounted wonderfully well at the beginning. It is an issue that is faced by a lot of Indians who bring home an NRI son in law. Ideally, this book would have worked well if the author had simply focused on one couple. The tale of Mrinalini’s sister and her love interest becomes way too repetitive and doesn’t bring anything to the plot.

The author has good observation and the language skills are also above average. She knows how to spin a yarn but I think it will take some time for her to develop as a writer. There is a lot of material within these pages and a better structure would have worked wonders for the book.

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