Book review – That year I found me by Dr. Ruchi Chopra Nasa

As part of the Blogchatter E-book carnival, 55 authors (including me) launched their books on May 22nd, 2018 on the Blogchatter platform. As a fellow author, it gets difficult to assess or critically analyze books by the other amazing writers on this platform. However, I personally believe in the power of constructive feedback. It has helped me improve my craft and thus I am going to adhere to the same intention of helping another author scale up his/her work, if possible.

The details of the second book that I have chosen to review (or rather analyze) is as follows –

Book – That year I found me

Author – Dr. Ruchi Chopra Nasa

Publication – Blogchatter

Pages – 126

Price – Free

Genre – Fiction

Plot –

Neha and Akash, sweethearts from medical school get married and soon become the parents of a baby boy Pihu. They have a near-perfect marriage. A chance discovery of a hidden message sets Neha on a path of figuring out the bitter truth about Akash’s extramarital affair with Sophie. While Akash had already accepted his mistake and moved away from the affair much before Neha discovered it, facing her biggest fear of losing the man she loves, leaves Neha hollow and depressed. Whether Neha decides to part ways or forgive Akash is unraveled during the course of the book.

Analysis –

At the onset, let me acknowledge the fact that I don’t read many books in romance genre anymore. This book was written as blog posts during the Blogchatter-A2Z challenge in April and I had found the theme quite interesting. The entire book is written in the form of letters (it might make the reader recollect the writing style of author Nikita Singh in her book ‘Letters to my Ex’). There are just four characters in the story Neha, Akash, Pihu and Sophie, so it is easy for the reader to keep a track of the happenings easily. The plot is quite simple but layered with bundle of emotions.

However, I would like to put a disclaimer here – there are many times that the protagonist in this story might come across as confused and her choices regressive. She has done everything that the society expected her to do, her parents asked her to do and her in-laws made her do. Unfortunately that is still a stark reality in our country. So, while I might not believe in glorifying Neha and supporting her choices at times as the story unraveled, I cannot help but appreciate Ruchi for hitting the right chord with the readers about the orthodox treatment of women in their roles of daughters, wives, daughter-in-laws and mothers.

Assessment –

What works well for the book –

  1. Simplicity in plot and narration – this book is a more than just romance. In fact it speaks about life and choices when a happy marriage hits the troubled waters.
  2. Letters used as means of communication brought a uniqueness to the format.
  3. The protagonist : In this book, the main character Neha is the average Indian girl stuck between following her dreams and living up to the expectations of society and her family. Her dilemma whether to rebel against the circumstances or go with the flow feels quite real. Whether the reader agrees with her decisions or not, it is difficult not to feel for her.
  4. The range of emotions and conflict of roles – As a girl who has just passed her M.B.B.S., Neha wishes to live life on her own terms but is soon coaxed to marry early instead.As a doctor, Neha struggles to attain the balance of professional achievements versus her role as a mother.
  5. A different perspective of doctors – Medical profession is one of the most coveted ones even today. As somebody who’s married to a doctor, the struggles, insecurities and hectic lifestyle brought out in the book felt personally quite real and relevant to me.

What could have been better –

  1. Character development – Except Neha, the readers don’t get to know Akash, Pihu or any other characters well. I feel adding layers to few of them could help the readers relate to Neha and her situation better along with breaking the chain of thoughts that feels restricted only to Neha and Akash. It might  also help to create a better impact on the mind of the readers after the story gets over.
  2. Repetition of few sentences and instances making the story drag unnecessarily at times. However this can be fixed through better editing.

My rating –

I finished this book in two hours straight and it did manage to bring a smile on my lips.

So I would say that this deserves

4 stars (of 5)

Grab a copy of the book from the link here.

About the author –

Dr Ruchi Chopra Nasa is a Pathologist by profession. She is an avid reader, loves exploring the world and penning down thoughts on her personal blog. She is based out of Dubai.

Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? An erstwhile banker turned blogger/writer/author. Any qualifications? A Post-Graduate degree in Chemistry followed by a second Post-Graduate Diploma in Management. I completed a one-year MFA in creative writing course from the Writer's Village University, U.S. in Dec 2020. Though I must admit that I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots. Have I done any real work? If two years in market research, six years in banking as a branch head, three-plus years of blogging, writing, and publishing a book can be considered as real work, then yes! Where do I live? After spending life like a nomad for sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Books, coffee, travel, food, and my five-year-old son. What is this blog about? Through Sonia's musings, I intend to explore writing in various genres, create social awareness, spread laughter, and give words to emotions. Anything for readers? You can check out my book 'Deal of Death' on Amazon Kindle. If you like fast-paced thrillers, this Detective fiction introducing the woman sleuth, Raya Ray could turn out to be your perfect weekend read.

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