Skip to main content

Book Review: One Summer in Poleru by Nanda Rajanala

One Summer in Poleru by Nanda Rajanala is an enchanting novel that blends crime & suspense and murder mystery into one. Staged against a fictional village named Poleru in South India, where the vernacular language is Telugu, the novel takes a stance on evil vs. good deeds. At large in the world, people are so greedy and corrupt that their personal motives take precedence over destitute people’s privileges and basic rights. But some fights for rights are epic, and this novel is about one such good story.

The novel puts forth the fight of some school children against the powerful corrupt political figures and government officials. On the name of development, authorities have decided to demolish a very old government school where students from poor and suppressed families study. This doesn’t go well with Renu, the protagonist. She is a seventh grade student. At the beginning of one summer vacation, this sad news perturbs her. The school holds historical value, as it was build since the Chola dynasty. It was rather a Gurukul then.

Renu is chirpy, brave, and inherently inquisitive. Right at the beginning, she saves an old man from a tiger, but it all happened accidently. Renu discusses the plight of saving her school with a few elders and family members…but all ignores her.

The story takes time to build its tempo, however since the beginning it’s moving in a measured pace. All facets of Renu are first portrayed with optimum light. To her age, she was a bit matured, yet full of purpose and surreal credibility. The novel has many characters, and all are defined elegantly in the wake of their roles. No one looks puny, despite the prime focus being on Renu.

The main story is about a protest to save the village school, to solve a murder mystery, and exposing a clandestine land deal. Renu gathers some of her friends such as Lakshmi, Sweta, and Mary to protest against the demolition of school.

Initially, it looked childish. In fact, it was. However, with time they learnt tactics, how to invite people, and make visuals, and leveraging the power of social media. It worked. But the novel turns into a murder mystery when Giri, an influential political figure, found dead. He was the same person who was hell bent on demolishing the school.

Post the murder, inspector Prasad takes control over the story. He acts like a movie detective. Meanwhile Renu’s protest program gains momentum and she becomes famous.

The story remains in Poleru, revolves around goons, corrupt bureaucrats, and secretive work of a missionary church that can uproot the education of poor children, and much more. The great USP of the book is that it doesn’t sound heavy, as you chug ahead with the story, the more it becomes unputdownble.

Nanda writes with a passion of an astute storyteller. It’s evident from his skills that the book is traditionally published. From characters, subplots, and suspense building – the novel sounds perfect with its themes and overall storytelling.

Buy your copy from Amazon.


Popular posts from this blog

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella. The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation fo

Poem Summary: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias is a short poem of fourteen lines written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The concurrent theme of the poem is that nothing remains intact and same forever in this world. Even the brightest of metal, one day decays with passage of time. The throne name of Egyptian King Ramesses is Ozymandias. It was his dearest desire to preserve himself forever by building a huge statue that he thought would never tumble down. Stanza 1: I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; Summary: The poet narrates the poem through the eyes of a traveler who seems to have come back from a remote and far-away land, referring to Egypt. The traveler r