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Lost Callahan by Aaksa Karuna Shah – NAC Book Review

Lost Callahan is a novel by Aaksa Karuna Shah, a young author based in New Delhi, The novel was published in July 2016 by Partridge India Publications. The novel is a fine work of fiction set in New Delhi, the novel explores the psychological disorder and it’s effects that torment the life of the protagonist. The book is a story of five people namely Emma (the protagonist), Saphy, Ilesha, Yukti and David. The Novel is divided into 38 chapters, and each chapter has a distinct flow of time. The novel oscillates between markups of “present” and “past” under which the corresponding events are narrated.

Narration

The novel is narrated from the point of view of an omniscient narrator. The fragments of time keep popping out all throughout the book though there is a strict flow of relativity and the plot that builds up steadily at a linear pace. The events unfold the character details and the setting in a brilliant manner with a choice of words that is easily understandable to most of the readers. The story is built in a manner that is would be gripping the reader into finishing the whole book in a single day.

Theme

Memories play a major role in connecting almost everything in the novel. The novel heavily relies on the feminine side of the society for its subject matter. It paints the picture of a lot of educated women who are trying to make their space in the society by fighting the narrow lanes of traditional bounds. The psychological disorder that Emma suffers is the central theme of the novel which gives mobility to the plot. The theme of love and friendship acts as a cannon which dispenses other elements of thematic importance in the novel.

The Story (Without Spoilers)

The story of the novel begins with most of the characters being introduced in the first 15 pages of the novel. It sets the things in place with strong hints of something inevitable in future, as the story keeps talking about the future. The story begins when a few college mates who complete their graduation and decide to buy a house to live together. They all set into the jobs they wanted to do and we are made aware with a hint of future that there is a tragedy impending upon the protagonist of the novel.

The Characters

Characters of the novel are nothing more than the laymen of the city, though the portrayal is heavily carried out from the point of view of an idealistic point of view. The characters are closely bound to each other with strong bonds of love and friendship. Emma, Saphy, Ilesha, Yukti and David and many other characters in the novel comes out to be a varied collage of real life characters in the novel. Each character is carefully crafted and placed by the novelist. The curiosity drives the novel from the beginning till the end. The flashing past and present make a reader glued to the story.

Overall the book is for an average reader who wishes to read, entertain, and at last, find something to chew upon later along with the applicable to their real life.

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