Every now and then I pick up a romance novel. Between piles of literary fiction, contemporary Indian writing and a scattered bunch of non-fiction writing, I like to read a romantic story. And I like them to be short, crisp and heart warming. Yamini Vijendran’s Full Circle fit the bill beautifully.
The story belongs to Malini. A loving matriarch, Malini has a lovely family in her son, daughter-in-law and darling of a grand daughter, Rumi. Everything in her life is idyllic. But her heart is set on a retirement home. Right from the start the reader is made to believe that there is a stronger force than whatever is revealed behind Malini wanting to go to Kumbakonam. The sense of mystery lingers until Malini takes us into her past.
And it is just at this moment that I realise there is perhaps an unfinished love story waiting for fruition. Yes, Yamini’s Malini has a secret past that she has willed to forget.
To the modern and urban reader Full Circle is a peep into the world where family tradition and honour matter. It is a flashback into a world where love meant stolen glances and heavy sighs. It was also a world that was often wounded by scandals. Yamini’s flashback into Malini’s past is both nostalgic and loving.
The characters play their parts beautifully. Rumi lives up to the expectation of the modern Indian young adult who believes that love always deserves a second chance. Malini is effortlessly beautiful and I could almost imagine her in this world. Ranjan, the love of Malini’s life undergoes a transformation, but we discover that despite the personality changes, his heart still beats for Malini.
A couple of things about the format of the book now. Full Circle is a novella, making it short enough for a quick, afternoon read. However, its short format does not compromise on the story and its telling. I could have imagined the book on a longer format with description of Malini’s life with her husband, or that of Ranjan and his, but then that has little bearing on the little story. Therefore, a shorter version works best.
Full Circle is also my first fiction piece that I have read on the digital format. Yes, I am a big fan of the printed book…a hardbound or a paperback is like having a love affair with a physical entity. And for long I have been reluctant to move to the digital format for reading. And I pleasantly liked the experience. Maybe it has to do with the shorter format, but Indireads has made a definite start in making converts of people like me. However, I must point out that there were a few typos which should have been ironed out. I have read Yamini’s poems and her non-fiction pieces before and so I could totally identify her voice in the novella. I also felt that the book could have been edited better, a few redundant and archaic words and phrases here and there could have been nipped. I also didn’t approve of the cover. While the younger Malini looks lovely, I didn’t actually see the older, widowed Malini in white…the older woman could and should have been represented better.
To end it all, I enjoyed Full Circle and I look forward to more tender tales from the author.
Please note: I received a copy Full Circle from the author. This review is fair and unbiased in every way.