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Book Review: Heart on a Platter by Eby Thachil

Heart on a Platter by Eby Thachil is a riveting contemporary novel having themes built around vicissitudes of life. Staged against the serene beauty of Kerala, the novel weaves a tale of fate, redemption, betrayal, love and much more with a long cast of characters. It mainly is a novel about two women hailing from different background with their respective goals. The lead character is Malini (Malu), wife of Pradeep. The couple has medical problems in having children. Husband Pradeep cannot sire a child. Thus, Malini opts for artificial insemination. Some initial chapters go around this technology and the couple is hesitant about the background of donor. They have fears and limitations. If one side of the novel is about hospitals, surrogate techniques, and medical nuisances; well the second side of the novel delves deep in the chasm of relationships.

The second woman in the story is Betty. She is into medical field, has a small business of her own. All characters are not so far-fetched from each other, they are auxiliary to one another, reachable and often cross paths in one another’s premises. Betty and Dr. Roy fall for each other. While the former is a hard nailed woman due to her past life, while Dr. Roy being a Casanova conman cashes on the opportunities of playing with women. Their chemistry till the end is worth time and money.

As Pradeep and Malini settles for a donor process to have a child in their life, they come across Dr Felix–another important figure in the storyline. The entirety of the novel has casting of women and their personal and professional issues. Malini has to deal with cold stares of her mother-in-law, while she is hardly in touch with her own mother. Her friends and their womanly tales keep the narration alternatively engaging. The author has cleverly designed the plotline with 85 short chapters so as to keep banality away.

As Malini and Pradeep get a girl child, equations of fate don’t stop there. Further the story takes a different thriller skein and takes readers on a journey that they see from very close by. As the novel inches towards its final moments, the fate of two women takes contrasting turn. Who will win – who will lose everything? This becomes a novel of great interest. Surely, an amazing work by the author in weaving a tale of two fates from a distance yet so close by.

Eby Thachil confirms that with time the veracity of time and relations change. True to its objective title – Heart on a Platter– is a gripping tale of two women where one loses everything, while another one wins not much but has to conform with a heartfelt compromise to the cruel patriarchal dominion. Lucidly written, with no dilemma about long cast of characters…the novel scores well on many points. Highly readable in its genre!

Buy it from Amazon/Kindle


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