I read this book in three days. It would have taken less except that I was spinning it out as long as I could but yet wanting to read on. Anita Nair has that kind of effect. She is a great story teller. ‘Mistress ‘ held me spell bound. I practically didn’t get up from the sofa one Sunday afternoon till I finished it.
The emotions are so real, understandable, recognizable, that one can see the people for real and want to know more and more about them. The writing is lyrical, fluid, moves easily.
What lies underneath the writing is sensuousness. A wealth of description of every nuance. Food lovingly described, colours, people, the curves of a woman’s body but more, the thoughts curving inside on wild paths.
Her protagonist is usually a woman and one you know. And each one gets into a situation of change and its about how she copes with it; usually in an unconventional way.
In Lessons in Forgetting, there is Meera, a 44 year old home maker and a bit more who is suddenly left in the lurch by her husband. There is love among older adults, scared after many encounters and among young people just getting to know what it is. There is the tussle between young girls and the mothers. The dislike that the young show so easily when they are thwarted. The agony of a NRI father when his daughter is violated. And as background, the story of Hera and Zeus, cyclones, advice to corporate wives .
But the thread that holds all the people together are memories and how we have to get past some of them and forget to go forward.
This book has been recommended for our new book club reading.. I only hope it is not destroyed in all the rehashing.