My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is one of the first books I read in 2017 but couldn’t review it as I got really busy! Now that I have more time, I am all geared up to write this review.
The book is based in a small village in the Dhauladhar ranges in the outer Himalayas. I have spent majority of my life in the foothills of the Himalayas and this area is very close to my heart. As I child, I had the opportunity to explore the workings of a hydro-electric project as well. So I was very excited to read this book.
The book is about a hydro-electric project and the various lives entangled in it. Nanda, a mechanical engineer from Kerela, joins the project as a mechanical engineer. He comes to Dhauladhar to get away from his past. Radha is a doctor by profession but a dancer at heart – and is searching for someone to match the rhythm of her soul. Khusruis a pawn in the hands of terrorists aiming to destabilise the roots of India. Their paths cross at a hydroelectric project in the Himalayas and what follows affects not only their lives but the lives of people all across India.
There is another major character in the book – the Dhauladhar range – which has an unpredictable and temperamental personality – reacting to all that it is put through to build the dam.
When it came to writing this review, it was easy to describe Nanda and Radha as they are relatively straightforward characters. Khusru was hard to describe. Even after I went through the book again, I couldn’t figure out whether he believed in the ideology of the ISI or went through the training because he didn’t know any other way of life.
The characters and their stories are very well described by the author. Even the supporting characters are so well written that I got lost in their stories. The book is well researched and the author has described the lives of workers at a hydro-electric project in great detail – their living conditions, their personal lives, and dangers faced due to torrential rains and snow. The author also writes about the villagers already living in this area and how their lives are affected by this project. The area is also visited by tourists for adventure sports and the author writes about them as well. It is truly amazing how he manages to include so much information and yet never let any of it seem unnecessary to the plot.
I am a bit disappointed by the ending as it built up to a exciting climax that kind of fizzled out in the end. It may be the only flaw in an otherwise wonderful read. Kudos to the author for a very well written novel and I hope I get to read more of his works soon.
Disclosure: I had been sent the book by the author for reading and reviewing – but have not received any compensation for the review – It is an unbiased and uninfluenced review.