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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Luis

Book Review: 'Birds of Prey' by Archana Sarat

“What one loves in childhood stays in the heart forever,” said Mary Jo Putney. But what if, all of it was just dark memories? If it was in my case I wouldn’t even choose to speak or think about them. But however hard you try you can’t forget your childhood. “Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression” said Dr. Haim Ginott.

‘Birds of Prey’ is such an intriguing story about dark unforgivable unhealed scars. It is a story wherein you get confused with whom to actually sympathize with, Anton Pinto, An Assistant Commissioner of Police who handles the case affirmatively of the three mysterious disappearance of men or with Swarna whose childhood was stolen from its very beginning.

The cover of the book is well designed by Abir Sanyal and it befits the story that unfolds in the book. ‘Birds of Prey’ is one of such books that kept me glued to it, so much so, I even overlooked my dehydration. To top it all, I could connect with some characters described subtly by Archana who went through similar process due to untoward situations in their life. Archana though makes a debut with this book, I believe it crosses boundaries to mark a special place in the hearts of the readers, you don’t feel it is debutante who is writing on a relevant topic i.e. Child Abuse and with great maturity and expertise.

The description of every character in the book is flawless and natural. There is no forceful attempt to describe a personality but as the plot unfolds the characters are revealed by Archana. I specially loved the switch between the stories of ACP Anton Pinto and Swarnalatha Subramaniam. Archana beautifully highlights themes like; fear, superhero syndrome, crime needing punishment, circumstances of irresponsible parenthood, abortion, and most importantly child sexual abuse.

Reading this novel was entertaining at the same time sensitizing regarding the harshness of the issue, therefore I truly feel that it is a must read for every parent, social activist and a lover of the child in you.

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