Book Review: Invisible Ties by Nadya A R

Book Name: Invisible Ties

Author: Nadya A R

Publisher: Rupa

Rating: 4.7/5

Book Blurb: As Karachi burned in the 1990s, the painfully shy Noor Kamal found refuge in an antique jade mirror stolen from Daisy, her social butterfly mother. One fateful day, the violence hits home as a motley crew of burglars storm the Kamal residence, killing Joseph, the faithful driver who tried to shield Noor and kidnapping Daisy in the process.
Traumatized by the turn of events and succumbing to familial pressure, Noor reluctantly agrees to start life afresh in Singapore as the wife of Meekaal Kalim, an investment banker. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Noor finds succour in studying psychotherapy.
Her attempt to heal others brings her close to Ella, her neighbour and Jake, a handsome American who is struggling to deal with his emotional breakdown. As she tries to exorcise ghosts from the past and break free from the shackles, where will Noor’s longing for love take her? Would she be able to liberate herself from her strong cultural values and ties?
A saga of love and trials, against a rich contrasting background, Invisible Ties is sure to appeal to the readers.

Review: At first, Invisible Ties comes across as a fairly ordinary story but that’s only until the plot takes off. Or maybe the story is ordinary but had been told in such a manner that it makes for an extraordinary read.

The book is about Noor and her journey across multiple cultures. She comes across as a shy and timid person but gradually takes control of her life. Ordinary situations sometimes transform seemingly average people into unlikely heroes and it is only in taking control of our lives that we discover ourselves.

Invisible Ties is a story about love, loss, relationships that evolve and bonds that are tested. The author has converted what would have been a simple plot in the hands of another writer into a very powerful tale, full of emotion and it is never an easy task to attempt such a book. A good story needs a lot of research and the description of places and characters are so vivid that for somebody who has spent some time in such places will not find anything amiss.

This is a contemporary story and some people may even identify with the protagonist. The action takes place over multiple countries and by the time the book is over, the protagonist has also completed her transition into a confident woman as opposed to the meek girl we are introduced to in the beginning.

This book gives a peek into the lives of the South Asian expat life, not the lives of average people but of the rich and mighty. However, it turns out just like the ordinary man, the lives of the affluent are also full of troubles. South Asian obsession with marriages also makes for some good reading.

The interplay of emotions and relationships is something that stands out in this book. The characters emotions are explored in detail, their trials and tribulations and compromises make for a fascinating read. Perhaps, its good that this story has been kept ordinary and hasn’t resorted to unnecessary grandeur. The simplicity is what makes it unique.

Some of the stuff is repetitive but if you can overlook it, it makes for a good read. The Author has good command over language and holds the plot fairly well.

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