//Thank you to HarperCollins India for sending me the ARC of this book. That in no way affects my opinion of the material.
Title : A Forgotten Affair
Author : Kanchana Banerjee
Genre : Adult Drama
Publication : 25th August, 2016
Goodreads summary :
Sagarika Mehta walks out of her nine-year-old marriage, meets with a near-fatal accident and goes into a deep coma all on the same day. After six months, she wakes up with no memory of her past. When she is discharged from hospital a year later, Rishab, her husband, whisks her away to an unfamiliar address in Gurgaon to convalesce.
There, in that plush apartment, with people waiting on her hand and foot, Sagarika can’t shake off the feeling that something is wrong.
Why does the scent of a particular cologne unsettle her? Why does the innocuous word ‘cheeni’ bother her? And why is Rishab so evasive in response to her queries about her past?
My Thoughts (Non-Spoilery)
This is your typical Indian-author 200-page love story, throwing in some drama and mature scenes to give substance to an otherwise basic plot. A simple plot (albeit quite realistic), adding some drama, building up to a reveal in the end – and there you have it. An Indian tv serial in the making.
Nevertheless, the plot is good and for about 75% or so, it manages to hold the reader’s attention. Sagarika, after waking up from the coma, finds herself with a memory loss and struggling to come to terms with who she is and what her life is. Her constantly evasive husband, the new residence he takes her too, the cousin she doesn’t remember – these are all pieces of a jigsaw she has long forgotten to fix. What with her having flashbacks? Of a name, and of a scent?
These are the questions which not just Sagarika asks herself, but even we, as readers, ask ourselves? The secret of the scent and the flashbacks is pretty clear from the very start of the book, but what is really interesting is, how we think Sagarika and the characters are going to cope with this situation.
That is the only thing which compels the reader to keep moving forward and since it’s a short, fast-paced book, you reach the 75% mark pretty soon. About at that point, things gets bad. The ending is way too rushed, and it seemed like the author just wanted to wrap up the entire thing as conveniently as possible. All the unnecessary drama wasn’t really required, either.
The characters, at best, are realistic. This story in general is very realistic, and I really appreciate that. It doesn’t shy away from portraying dark, deep emotions and that is extremely brave.
But, fact is – even though the story and idea and concept of the book is great, the execution isn’t. There was no real emotional attachment to the book, it read like a Hindi tv serial. There were no feelings attached to anything, it was just bland storytelling and the drama was meant to cover up for the lack of feelings. 200 pages is too less to capture something so impactful, and this book definitely wasn’t impactful.
If you’re looking for a fast-paces, quick, short read with a good story – you may pick this up!