My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Balancing the fine line between writing something serious and not making it preachy but enjoyable is no mean feat and here Amrita Anand Nayak has managed to do the impossible in just her 2nd book.
First off, I would like to thank the author for the burst of laughter she gave me in her acknowledgment. She thanks her better half for all the support and love but in the next sentence asks him to walk to her and say that it was him that was the luckier one. LOL! I was in splits reading that sentence, that just there was proof of her ability to create humor thru her writing, and hats off for that.
Squeezing lemons is a slice of life story that in spite of the tough subjects the story focuses on, offers hope and inspiration. Taking us thru a journey from the city of Joy Kolkata to the city of dreams in Mumbai thru the lives of 2 siblings Piyali and Ajoy, Squeezing Lemons is as the author says the perfect recognition to the age-old adage “When Life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” And Ajoy does exactly that. The mountain that the children had to climb at the young age of 9 and 6 was impossible and Ajoy being hearing impaired was not helping matters. The story however shows the resilience of young minds to find a foothold in the thorny mountain and somehow overcome the insurmountable odds stacked against them.
What I loved the most in the novel is that there are few hard topics being discussed, like hunger, parental neglect, alcoholism, depression, attempted abuse of young ones, rag-picking to make ends meet, etc but there’s also the warmth inducing scenes showing the love and friendship shared by the kids, the angels that walk into the lives of these children and help them to grow and literally make lemonade out of all those lemons. One such scene where the children enact feeding themselves to trick their stomachs from the hunger pangs left me teary-eyed with its stirring portrayal of starvation. The author never lets the grimness of the situation take an upper hand but it is counterbalanced immediately with a beautiful act of kindness that the readers are left with a feeling of upliftment.
The readers follow Piyali and Ajoy as they circumvent different stages of their lives, learning love and heartbreak and ambition; each factor playing significant roles in their experiences and then literally coming full circle with an unexpected addition in their family.
Heart-touchingly real and beautiful.🌧️🌧️🌧️🌧️🌧️
Many thanks to the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
Available in paperback and kindle edition at Amazon, “Squeezing Lemons” has a slice-of-life story that revolves around two siblings (the brother being hearing impaired) who brave the odds of their lives and beautifully exemplify the proverbial phrase – “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
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