Book Review: Demigods Are Alive by Monalisa Joshi

Book Name: Demigods Are Alive

Author Name: Monalisa Joshi

Publication: Chrysanthemum Chronicles

Rating : 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Demigods Are Alive, written by Monalisa Joshi is a collection of stories about women seeking love in various situations of life, their emotions, and dilemmas.

Each story is different from another in terms of plot and setting but an invisible thread of strength and yearnings for women binds all of them. Monalisa has carefully spun stories encompassing all the emotions of love, hate, forgiveness, and emancipation

So we meet Mahua, the infidel muse, trapped in a loveless marriage, longing for love and happiness, which leads her to venture outside the boundary of home. Was it sin? The author doesn’t ponder much on it. And there lies the success of the stories. Like in life, these stories don’t preach morality.

Then there is Chitra, another victim of fate and circumstances. Why are women often bound by shackles of responsibilities, without their consent? Caught between her duty and her serendipitous true love this story is about seeking a second chance in life.

The third story is as endearing as its title suggests – Calcutta Pudding. Anything remotely related to Calcutta(Kolkata) grabs my attention. A beautiful story about Devi, that travels between the present time and pre-independence area is a tale about grit and forgiveness and an intense feeling of homesickness.

Oops, it all happened in my nightgown is as interesting as its name. This story traverses an often forgotten land – the fantasy of women.

Demigods are alive – the story from which the book borrows its name, is a tale about the sincere Ulma, a victim of the patriarchal society. This is a story about lust, envy, and hatred.

Neelima’s story, Mirror Mirror on the Wall reads like a suspense thriller and is a tale about returning to roots.

What worked for me

What sets this compilation of six interesting stories apart is the characterization. The main protagonists of each story are not painted as the usual docile Indian women or epitome of sacrifice. Instead of portraying them as the all-perfect Goddesses, Monalisa has presented a very real picture of her demigods. The women in the stories are breathing living beings!

These women are flawed, have their moments of weakness and they do falter but they come back stronger facing adversities with courage. They dare to throw open challenges to the norms of society but they are not desperate. The women in the books have an identity of their own and are not satisfied with only the tag of a wife or a mother. They have their dreams, and ambitions and wear their boldness with a blend of tradition.

Overall Monalisa’s Demigods Are Alive is a unique endeavor and will entice her readers.

You can get the book on Amazon.

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