Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews
A successful banker, popular writer, loving husband and father, Aditya Kapoor has it all. When he is invited to give a speech at his alma mater, IIM-Bengaluru, Aditya is confronted by a young student who objects to calling a novel a product that needs careful marketing and PR plans. He is rankled by the young thing, but when she writes back to him gushing about his work, makes it to his talk in a local bookstore, and is transparent in her admiration for him, Aditya Kapoor stumbles. And falls for her. It helps that the head of HR for his Bank is Aditya’s best friend; Shreya Kaushik, the pretty young thing, is hired from campus and assigned to Aditya’s desk.
Aditya embarks on an extra-marital affair with Shreya, also an author, albeit an aspiring one. He endorses her work and his publisher picks up the book for publishing. What seems harmless and fun, and just right for his ego, makes his world fall apart. And Aditya has to set on a path of course correction.
Ravi Subramanian, the author of The Bestseller She Wrote is well known for his bank thriller books. This is his first attempt at romance-intrigue – to reach out to a largely women’s audience. There are elements of his other books in this latest one as well – the world that Aditya inhabits is the banking one, and some characters are based on real life ones and are easily identifiable. If you are familiar with Indian authors you may be able to second guess who the inspiration for this book was!
One of the themes that Ravi touches upon is the way manuscripts are selected by some publishers. Cronyism, nepotism are real, and if a popular author endorses a writer, the writer often gets signed up by the publisher. That is a possible explanation for some pretty trashy books that come out every year.
I found the book interesting because it provides a man’s viewpoint on extramarital affairs. Many books that deal with this theme are women-centric and dwell on the fate of the woman. Usually women end up getting the short shrift; they are distraught and must come to terms with loss of their spouses and family, and betrayal of the lover. In The Bestseller She Wrote Ravi presents another point of view. What happens when a middle-aged guy falls for a woman, loses his carefully constructed family and world and wants to end it all because he loves his wife? What can he do when he realizes he is being used, yet is still in love with the ‘other’ woman? Is Aditya the good guy or a bad one? Is Shreya wrong or wronged? Are acts of betrayal easy to forgive?
I also found the treatment of the millenials in the book interesting. They have been brought up with the narrative that they are special, and can achieve anything. The brashness of their age combined with the supreme confidence that they will be successful makes for interesting character study, and Shreya Kaushik in the book is just that!!
The Bestseller She Wrote is fast paced and an easy read. It has twists galore, and the end will surprise you!
A definite read!!