Category Archives: Book Reviews (FaB 2)

‘City Of Joy’ by Dominique Lapierre

City Of Joy is a 1985 novel  by  which revolves around the tribulations of a Polish Priest , Fr.Stephen Kovalski ,the hardships of the displaced rickshaw puller ,Hasari Pal and the experiences of an American doctor,Max Loeb in Calcutta.

The book chronicles not only; the separation of the different levels of poverty,caste divisions and the differences of the many  religions living in the slums.It touches on Mother Teresa and her Sisters of Mercy as well.While the book has its ups and downs ,both beautiful and horrific,an overall feeling of peace and well being is achieved by the story’s end.Despite facing hunger ,deplorable living conditions,illness, bone breaking work and death,the people still hold on the belief that the life is precious and worth living ,so much so that they named their slum “Anand Nagar” or “City Of Joy”.

The 1992 film adaption was directed by Roland Joffe,staring Patric Swayze.The book received Christopher Award in 1986 ,given for creative work that exhibits the highest values of the human spirit.
I rate this book 3 out of 5 and recommend this book to all book lovers.

Reviewed by Sandra Joy

‘Swapnalok Society-The Summer of cool’ by Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

e69ae3f58e4e72ef0b012ed98e7ce532281f892bThe bubbly girl who was seen opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa,Jazbaat,Vaade Irade and many more including our very own Malayalam film – Kilukkampetti starring Jayaram as the male lead debut maker Suchitra Krishnamoorthi establishes herself as a writer who will be loved by readers of all ages by the story of Chithrangana varma, a brown-eyed 9 year old,a precocious liar in her imagination. The summer of cool is a hip,funny story about friends,family and finding true love. It is the first book in the exciting new series ‘ swapnalok society ‘ .

Chithrangana is longing for her mother’s love since her father had ‘ disappeared ‘ ( for her ) . All she wants is her mother’s love, grow her hair below knees and become a bathroom decorator. But deep down she really wants to find her father. Because for her, he is the one who could surely set everything alright in her life. The writer projects the will power and the hope of a small girl who wants to fulfill her thirst for her father and her mother’s affection. Her life is like living in hell for her, tired of her mother’s abnormal and strict behaviour. The only person in her family who she admires the most is her 17 year old charming pretty sister Smitha Varma.

How Chithrangana aka chitty is after her will to find her father and is always ready to do whatever for finding him forms the crux of the story.

The story of ‘ the summer of cool’ gets more interesting and funny by the happenings in Swapnalok society. By which the writer makes the story feel natural and true. The people in Swapnalok Society,who used to be so caring and affectionate to each other becomes selfish rather than helpful.

And when Ammama, her patty grandmother, lands up from the village, her life becomes even more exciting. Then on her birthday, her sister gifts her a doll-sapna which looks exactly like her and speaks words which only Chitrangana can hear…

The entry of Sapna add fantasy to the story still making it look natural, armed with Sapna, Chitrangana runs away from her home into the mean streets of downtown Mumbai looking for her father from where the real adventure and hardship faced by the little girl is described which turns the reader’s mind emotional. The climax of the story turns everything right in Swapnalok society as well in the life of Chithrangana and her family ( as wished by her ).


Reviewed by Meenakshi Madhu

‘The Mill on the Floss’ by George Eliot

mill-on-the-flossThe Mill on the Floss, published in 1860, marks the end of the first stage of George Eliot’s work as an artist. It was like his predecessors, Scenes of Classic life(1857-58) and Adam Bede(1859), an attempt at a realistic ‘history of unfashionable families’. All three books were set in a past, not very remote, and covered by the memories of the author herself, or of her family. Although ‘THE MILL ON THE FLOSS’ is set in Lincolnshire, where she had traveled to find suitable rivers for her catastrophic flood, Dorlcote mill closely resembles Arbury Mill, where Mary Ann Evans played as a child, and the attic where Maggie Tulliver bangs her fetish’s head on the beams is the attic of Griff House, where she spends her first 22 years.Brought up at Dorlcote Mill, Maggie Tulliver worships her brother Tom and is desperate to win the approval of her parents, but her passionate, wayward nature and her fierce intelligence bring her into constant conflicts with her family.

As she reaches adulthood, the clash between their expectation and their desires is painfully played as she finds herself spot between her relationships with three different men: her proud and stubborn brother, a close friend who is also the son of her family’s worst enemy and a charismatic but dangerous suitor.

With its portrayal of sibling relationships, The Mill On The Floss is considered George Eliot’s most autobiographical novel also one of her most powerful and moving. My rating is 3/5.

Reviewed by Sruthi Chandran

‘I Have A Dream’ by Rashmi Bansal


This book starts with an interesting quote said by Martin Luther king Junior “I have a Dream…. that one day all of the god’s children will be able to join hands and sing… at last ! Free at last! Thank god almighty, we are free at last. From there she has beautifully presented the life of 20 social entrepreneurs.

The change starts with one person and that person maybe you. Arvind Kejriwal did it. Bindeshwar Pathak did it and like that many. All the above mentioned idealists started their battle along. Rashmi Bansal had divided the idealists into three

1. Rainmakers   2. Change makers   3. Spiritual Capitalists

By Rainmakers she meant that social enterprises which generate revenues but where profit is not the primary motive. This is a new breed of entrepreneurs ; A new model of ‘doing good and not mere charity.

By change makers, she meant that ‘a single person is all it starts a movement while the world laments ‘What is the change makers takes a small step towards making it as it should be.

By spiritual Capitalists, she meant that the ideal of service maybe old fashioned But there are individuals who still choose to live by it, because they believe purity of purpose of spirit can transient every limitation. All the twenty entrepreneurs committed to different cause, but they have one thing in common ; a belief that principles of management, can and must be used to achieve a greater common good.The story I felt really interesting was Arvind Kejriwal’s. Kejriwal was an IRS officer. He waged a secret war against his own department. This campaign under the banner is ‘Parivarthan’. The later pioneered use of RTI (Right to Information Act) to empower citizen. His dream is to see ” true democracy” where ordinary people regain the right6 to regain themselves.

Inspiration comes from every page of the book. We often see some great people, their work and accomplishments but we are never aware of real truth about hard work and sacrifices they have made and this book does that.

This book say one thing loud and clear change starts with one person and that person could be someone next door. I recommend this book to all of you. My rating is 4/5.

Reviewed by Viji V. R.

‘Twilight’ by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight is an extraordinary love story written buy Stephenie Meyer. It is a international best seller. This book is divided into four as Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.

This is a story about a girl called Isabella Swan. The main characters of the story are Isabella, Edward and Jacob. Her parents get divorced. She spent her childhood with her mom. Her mother got a new partner to share her life with, So her mother decided to send Bella to her father’s home. When the story starts Bella is in the airport to go to California. Her father decided to sent her to a school named Forks High school nearby. There she fall in love with a boy called Edward Cullen. They two become lovers. After that a boy called Jacob came to their life. She caught attracted with Jacob. The story goes on and on……………………..

It is a imaginary story in this Edward is an vampire and Jacob is a wolf.If Jacob got some angry or feelings he will turn to a wolf. There love story is the main theme of this book. If we read this book, we have an anxiety to read the other three parts of the book.In film this has been divided into four part Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Breaking Dawn Part 2.

Twilight is an outstanding love story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page.I recommend this book to all the students.I rate 4/5 for this book.

Reviewed by B. S. Sreelekshmi

‘Dam 999’ by Sohan Roy

The book which i selected for FaB is DAM 999,written by Sohan Roy. Sohan Roy S K (born in Kerala, India in 1967) is a naval architect and businessman who is active in film direction and literature.

The story revolves around 9 characters based on 9 human emotions or ‘Navarasa’. Two mariners return home unaware of the corrupt politics behind a out dated dam in their hometown. While a family reunites on one side, the dark mystery behind the obsolete dam unwinds on the other. To worsen the scenario the corrupt politician among the 9 characters, blinded by greed, builds a new dam without meeting the safety standards, threatening the survival of millions. The book recreates the world’s worst man made disaster giving rise to the question of survival. I rate the book 3 out of 5.

Reviewed by Anandapadmanabhan

‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the seventh and the last edition in the Harry Potter series written by J K Rowling.

The plot mainly follows Harry Potter who is responsible to finish the quest started by Albus Dumdledore. Harry have to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes of Voldemort. Only then, he knows that ; Voldemort could be destroyed forever, Only then he can destroy the dark lords shadow from the wizarding world for once and for all.

In this final quest Harry is accompanied by his best friends Ron Weasly and Hermione Granger. Ron and Hermione become dull when they realises that Dumdledore didn’t tell Harry about any of the remaining Horcruxes before he died ; not what is the next Horcrux, not where the next Horcrux is and not even how to destroy it.

As days pass by their spirits get lower. Ron especially got more annoyed yet by their lack of planning, lack of food and he get into a row with Harry and leaves the quest to go home but comes a few weeks later in time by saving Harry’s life and proving to be loyal to him.

Meanwhile, Harry and Hermione goes to Godrics Hollow in search of clues and nearly get captured by Voldemort. They feel that every step they are making is followed by Voldemort.

At last when the final battle at Hogwarts starts Harry understands what Dumdledore had meant for him and it was his death.So he presents himself to Vodemort because of the love and care he has for his friends. But that saved him because he was the last Horcrux that Voldemort never meant to make.

Its the matter of one spell between Harry and Voldemort and Voldermort is killed and destroyed for ever. Harry is glad for the second chance he had got and understands the value of love, sacrifice and loyalty.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is an exciting suspense thriller. Each page creates anxiety about what happens next.I recommend this book to all who love to read mystery. My rating is 5/5.

Reviewed by Aiswarya S. S.