After having read Preeti Shenoy’s “Life is What You Make It” and “Tea for Two and a Piece of Cake“, I was impressed with her writing style and narration, so I decided give “the Secret Wishlist” a try on a bored afternoon. Did I say that it spruced up my afternoon?
Diksha, a sixteen-year old in Chennai has a crush on Ankit, her brother Rohan’s classmate, and they both get to know of their feelings for each other because of a small prank that Diksha’s friend Tanu plays. One thing leads to another and before they know it, they are having secret meetings and silent conversations in crowds. One such secret meeting ends up in disaster, because they are found kissing by their teacher and fellow students, including Rohan. Diksha is pulled out of school and put in a remote girls-only college in Kerala under the supervision of her aunt and grandmother, and eventually married (off) to Sandeep at the age of nineteen and moves to Bangalore.
Fifteen years into the marriage, following a trigger from her cousin Vibha, Diksha realizes that she is not happy in her marriage. Both of them make secret bucketlists and Vibha takes it upon herself to help Diksha tick items off her list. Thus starts a salsa class in secrecy and Gaurav, the salsa instructor befriends Diksha. Meanwhile, Vibha registers Diksha on a site that helps find long-lost friends and Tanu re-enters her life. She is still single and moves to Bangalore to head the Bangalore operations, thus making it easy for the childhood friends to reunite.
Along with Tanu enters her old flame, Ankit, still unmarried and still deeply in love with her. With her awesome friends’ help and her understanding mother-in-law’s support, Diksha manages to tick off all items in her list and in the process, walks out of her loveless marriage.
How does Diksha turn over from a timid dormouse to an assertive woman? Read the unputdownable book by Preeti Shenoy to find out.
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- I am soon becoming an ardent fan of Preeti Shenoy, not for her sob-stories, but for the way she can tell a story, even if it is a sob-story. I breeze through her books in single sittings and that is proof of that.
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- For a person who has such a captivating style, I wish Preeti Shenoy chose better plots. If there is such a genre called “Feminist Fantasy”, she can be crowned the Queen of it. Just unbelievable the way her female protagonists turn over from dormice to go-getters.
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- Just wondering what makes Preeti’s books extremely readable and un-put-downable. Though when I look back after I finish the book and analyze, my rational mind finds a thousand issues with the stories, when I am reading it, my emotional mind takes over and I empathize with the protagonist. In this respect, Preeti has mastered the art of story-telling. In addition, all her protagonists start out as simple women with simple backgrounds and modest achievements, which makes it easy enough for an average she-reader to identify with. In the face of misfortunes or failing relationships, these simple women make fantastic decisions, overcome their problems and come out winners. The average she-reader who has already identified herself with the protagonist now wants to do the same and finishes the book with a feel-good factor.