Invisible Ties by Nadya A. R. is one of the most beautiful fiction titles on my bookshelf , looking exquisite and attractive from the outside and inside as well. With a cover that is akin to a painting, this book is inviting.
|| Book Review by Md Akhlaq
Traversing from Lahore and Karachi to Singapore, Malaysia and London, this book takes us through the journey of Noor – a simple, shy,humble and kind hearted girl who grows up in a high class family of Karachi, Pakistan. Her rich parents are busy and hence spend very less time with her leaving her lonely and heartbroken. She struggles with this lack of attention and develops a complex relationship with this trauma inflicted upon her.
Noor’s story is a journey of self discovery.She is trying to find something but it is not clear what. Noor is at once familiar, yet remains an enigma. The diversity of emotions ranging from love and empathy to advise and responsibility makes this an engaging read. While there are many portions where you feel sad for Noor, a lot of her actions also make you wonder if it is right to feel so.
The journey of her childhood coupled with her experiences of living with her caretakers are a complete contrast to her life in completely different world after marriage, shifting from Pakistan to Singapore. Here she is all on her own. This sudden coming of age is a difficult stage of adaptation for Noor. One witnesses her stumbling and falling as she struggles to find her foothold in this big bad world outside her comfort zone.
The strongest point about the book is the narration. The author has described the story in a poignant manner making the characters come alive. The character of Noor is very simple yet interesting and attractive. She is a mysterious girl with a mirror that she took from her mother’s closet as her only mate in the new world. While the other characters like her parents, husband and friends add layers to the narrative bringing their own eccentricities to the story. Each and every individual with their own unique back story add volumes to the narrative, along with twists and turns. They depict the fragility of human relationships exceptionally well and make the reader wonder, what is the price one pays for love. The title being clearly evident as the story talks about the various bonds we share in life with our loved ones.
Author Nadya comes across as a keen observer of life and manages to capture the complexity of life beautifully in her writing. The narrative is beautiful and can be easily called poetry in prose, which is really very unique. The blend of history with fiction adds an interesting dimension to the story. Some of the readers may find the plot confusing and over detailed but this also has its positives where author tries to portray culture, diversity, ethnic cleansing and vivid personalities of the characters in details. The characters are relatable and tend to be complex. Their strength and vulnerabilities are equally at display for a reader to connect to them instantaneously.
Bringing in her own observations of living across countries, the author manages to paint an interesting picture of life abroad. Contrary to the popular belief, life of immigrants is full of challenges where survival is a constant struggle. In this story author really does a great job at setting up the whole plot touching upon multiple themes from love and relationships to abandonment and loss ,also weaving in additional elements of mental health and immigrant life. She simultaneously throws light on the apathy of women in South Asian societies where marriages define them and their dreams. The uncertainty of the future is a matter of deep concern in such scenarios. Noor’s story also talks about the risks hidden in an arranged match. Marriages are a gamble and author Nadya’s enigmatic narration just proves this point even further.
Author’s writing is lyrical, poetic and mesmerizing. The powerful imagery created by her descriptions, juxtaposing finer nuances of life with Feng Shui elements and other aspects, the author leaves a lot to reader’s interpretation of the underlying tones in the story. Language is descriptive while using figures of speech liberally with deep, connotations and meaning.
The climax scene is gripping making the entire journey till there worthwhile. While it is open ended and left for a reader to understand the ongoing happenings, the very fact that it symbolizes all that Noor stands for is truly inspiring . Overall, an amazing read that fully mesmerized me.