Book Name- To Each with Love
Author- Renee Ranchan
Publisher- Stellar Publishers
Pages- 235 pages Price- 350
Subtitled ‘A Satiric Rendition’ and blurbed by Karan Singh, Captain Amarinder Singh and Feroze Varun Gandhi, Ranchan’s book is a collection of six rather lengthy short stories. The settings are located in upper middle class India, and they explore the familiar while keeping an eye out for the unexpected.
They are founded on what the author terms “memory strips”, the flashes of total recall that rise unbidden from the unconscious and take us by surprise in the midst of everyday life, and they explore questions which preoccupy all of us. For instance, the first story shows that the misogyny hardwired into Indian society survives across generations because it is transmitted from woman to woman, down the family line.
However, these stories would have been easier to read if they were simply told. Ranchan’s prose is layered and adjective-laden, which makes for a hyperaesthetic read. This packs a punch at times where the tautness of the storyline calls for heightened perception. Elsewhere, though, it appears to get in the way.