Chirdeep Malhotra . Updated: 4/29/2018 1:57:21 PM Books and Authors

Book Review: I wear the smile you gave

Book: I wear the smile you gave

Author: Shweta Shah

”I wear the smile you gave”, Shweta Shah’s debut novel, echoes with shockwaves of tragedy and a heart rending plot, but its heart is a shining story of enduring love. Love may be one of literature’s oldest topics, but if an exciting writer takes it on, the story can feel new. This is what comes to fore in this novel, which has the potential to both bring tears to your eyes and put a smile on your face.

The book details the story of Ajeet, Sumi and Aditi- three youngsters who are simple characters in a triangular love story. Though the plot of their love musings is very much clichéd, but not the enterprise of the other storyline which is beaming with novelty. Ajeet is a commoner, a boy next door,a happy-go lucky guy who is away from the worldliness and the unnecessary restrictions imposed by society. Aditi and Ajeet are batch mates in a Junior college, with Aditi all head over heels for Ajeet and who without any hesitation, boldly conveys her feeling for him. That this takes place in the Princpal’s office is all the more interesting. However, Ajeet being just infatuated towards Aditi, finds his true love in Sumi whom he meets in a coaching class. Wanting to break away from the shackles of a traditional family business and the conventional decision of joining it, Ajeet joins the Army. But years later, a tragedy connects Ajeet, Sumi and Aditi once again however changing their lives forever.

The book has a lot of grammatical mistakes and editing glitches, which don’t make much of a smooth read and create hurdles in the storyline. Deft editing could’ve made this book much better. Also the characters aren’t that memorable, and adroit detailed characters made with more contemporary insights would make for a much better read. But the plot formation- from the beginning to how it progresses- is much nuanced and well-thought-out. In the end, it’s not romance but true love that forms the heart of the story; with romance waning as the quotidian details of day to day life become a part of the story, and that’s where true love begins. Also, the cover pictures are good, and the reader will ponder much about the premise of the story and will set the wheels of his brain into motion after having a look at it. The plot also progresses in a series of flashbacks, which works for the book. Also the poem having the refrain “I wear the smile you gave” in the epilogue isa delight to read.

A book that grapples with modern love and the many ways we fall for one another nowadays, but with many twists and turns carefully inserted into the storyline for a roller coaster read. Being just 180 pages, it is a good take for a captivating short foray into not just a modern love story, but so much more.

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