Title - When Will You Die?
Author - Jayanthi Sankar
Genre - Contemporary Fiction
Publisher - Zero Degree Publishing
ISBN - 978-939-55-1112-4
Jayanthi Sankar has a unique style of writing which induces certain elements in an unusual way. The approach - be it with characters or the story which spins around them is a perfect testimony. She has this unique way of story telling which is appreciated across various literary circles that made her win several laurels across the globe. Having read her previous books which include "Entangling Gandhi", I could not wait to finish reading this novella.
The author may have had a different viewpoint while writing this novel but to me, this brought out the difficulties faced by a single mom/parent in raising their kids especially when either of the parent - mom or dad is missing in action. This is what happens with Susan who was born on 28th May and raised in Goa by her granny, Maria. Her mom elopes with Loafer Lokesh before coming back to give birth to Joseph.
Joseph was very attached to her sister. It was in the 90's that this concept called "Penpals" was making waves and Susan get to write to SuiYi Tsang of Singapore. He had a non-identical twin Xin Yi who later goes to Sydney with her boyfriend only to be cheated on a couple of months later. Their mom goes to China from Cambodia and gets killed in an accident only to be discovered later that it was the handiwork of their father.
SuiYi had a few friends namely Nakul, Delian, and Ali.
Susan gets her first email from SuiYi on 9/12/90. It was quick, unlike postal letters which took a few days to reach. Joseph too had a girlfriend named Judy. However, she deserts him and plans to go to the USA. The struggles faced by Susan in convincing her granny to get married to SuiYi, getting PR in Singapore, and helping Joseph monetarily on a month-on-month basis by sending money despite her own difficulties were vividly captured in this novel. This has an unusual ending. When you get to read a story presented in an unusual style, this is certainly expected.
A good read for adults.
This book is available on Amazon