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The Red Ganges (Book Review)

by Gowri Bhargav

Book: The Red Ganges

Author: Monalisa Joshi

Publisher: Chrysanthemum Chronicles

Number of Pages: 275

The Red Ganges’ by Monalisa Joshi is the first book in ‘The Red Ganges’ duology.  

The story set in the early twentieth century Kolkata, vividly portrays the life of zamindars and many secrets that remain hidden within the four walls.

Moina is the main protagonist of the book. Though born in a small town Nawabganj in an ordinary middle-class family. Moina is well-educated, bold, and impervious to the frequent taunts thrown by the privileged people. Being a ravishing beauty replete with good qualities she is eligible to get married and yet she isn’t interested in following the path of other girls. Besides, she has a secret that she doesn’t wish to reveal. What’s the secret?

One day Moina happens to meet Sujit, her best friend Dahlia’s brother. They both are magnetically attracted to each other. Sujith however is from a royal Zamindar family. He is Justice Subhojit Chottopadhyay’s son. Do they follow their heart and fall in love despite belonging to different classes? Will Sujit’s father and sister approve of it?

Amidst the breezy tale of romance, there are murmurs and fear about the ‘The Red Ganges’. What is ‘The Red Ganges’?

Without giving any spoilers I would like to say that ‘The Red Ganges’ is a book filled with romance, intrigue, mystery, revenge, and an enthralling tale that is effervescent with powerful interplay of emotions.

Apart from the main characters Moina and Sujit, I could also empathize with the secondary characters like Dahlia, Justice Subhojit, and Ms. Katherine Arkwright. Ms. Katherine‘s backstory especially, made me teary-eyed. I also liked the sensitive portrayal of all characters and the transformation that they undergo throughout the story as they get tangled in the changing tides of life. This goes on to show that humans are flawed and not always perfect but they always have the opportunity to rise when they listen to their heart.

The narration is smooth and evocative, and at times I felt that it was poetry in motion. Throughout the story, we also get a glimpse of patriarchy, the sad plight of married Zamindari women, and the societal pressures that shape a person’s character.

The ending was fast-paced and had a mind-blowing twist too. Though I don’t wish to reveal what happened, for some reason I felt the new changes/character needed a little foreshadowing, exploration and an in-depth backstory. I’m sure this aspect will be addressed by the author in the next book.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. I was transported to a different era and I felt myself breathing the serene air from the Ganges as my eyes witnessed an enchanting fictional tale woven in the small town of Nawabganj.

I would recommend everyone to grab a copy of the book from Amazon.

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