Title: A Slice of Life: Every Person Has A Story
Author: Smita Das Jain
Publisher: Notion Press
Genre: Short Stories, Literary Fiction
First Publication: 2021
Book Summary: A Slice of Life by Smita Das Jain
Every human wears a mask. Behind the cheerful facade lies faith, hope, trust, love, despair, confidence, insecurity, et al. Everyone has a story.
A DINK couple finding Work From Home a challenge…
The Couple who wasn’t one…
A rigid person who deviates from a lifelong habit…
Two people who remain in touch for 35 years, without talking…
A daughter who has sacrificed her dreams for her mother…
A fictional potpourri of extraordinary narratives of ordinary people who have more to their everyday lives beneath the surface, these stories reflect myriad hues of human behaviour.
From the author of the suspense thriller ‘The Lost Identity’ comes an anthology that touches the human heart.
Book Review: A Slice of Life by Smita Das Jain
A Slice Of Life is a collection of dazzling short-stories by Smita Das Jain which portrays distressed hearts and confused minds that are struggling in unknown situations, striving to accept strange ways of life while clutching the bag of their emotional baggage close to their hearts and ending up in those neverlands where they find themselves still slightly apart from the place where they now belong.
There are 18 short stories in the book equally distributed in 3 parts. Each short stories has remarkable depth, richness and resonance. Part one ‘In Loving Memory’ consists of six stand-alone love stories. Part two ‘All in Good Humour’ consists some of the funny short stories with subtle humour and witty dialogues. The third part called ‘What a Relationship’ explores the beautiful relationships between parents and children, couple, and friends.
Each story has a wholly different premise and different main characters, and takes place in a completely difference place and time, from the opening story about a small town couple finding hard to spend time with each other and their unique way to rekindle their romance, to the concluding story about a ten-year-old girl with special-need and her adopted parents. And each has its own power—some hit you between the eyes while some slowly build in your mind.
As in most short story collections, each reader will likely have his or her favorites. One of mine is ‘Forever Love’ written in an epistolary format that follows the relationship between Surekha and Mohit who are torn apart early in life, but who nevertheless spend a lifetime trying to communicate with one another. Smita Das Jain did a marvellous job of expressing feelings through epistolary manipulations without being too emotional.
There is almost always a sweet-sad human touch to author’s prose and stories which one cannot stop but admire. Her writing style is utmost evocative, you almost go through the world she so carefully portrays. She is so apt with an innate caliber to put life in her characters that you aren’t just reading about them but you are in their heads, in their homes, in their lives, in all of those awkward and nostalgic situations, that you are almost living their private lives.
I absolutely love the way Smita Das Jain points out raw unsaid emotions in myriad of situations. She kind of explores that void that exists in all of us of which we never talk and that is precisely what makes the reader connect with her writing as it leaves you a little raw and empty inside, provoking the most immaculately sensitive emotions. Each word, each line is almost always soaked in her exemplary style which is simple yet most striking. The endings of her each short story are the happy endings type, and yet somehow, what this book offers, remains subtly in your memories longer than you can imagine.
With understated elegance, Smita Das Jain has drawn in the reader to become immersed in tales of families, lovers and friends. She has the unique ability to simply, but fascinatingly communicate the features of the characters’ behaviors, thoughts and emotions. In addition, she is able to express such dimensions so well that I felt I had become acquainted with these people. I was immediately captivated by her style and the tales that she wove in ‘A Slice of Life’. It was an unprecedented experience for me to read each story, from sheer delight, or humor, to grief and regret.