Author: Rhea Sharma
Publisher: TTT Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Novella
First Publication: 2020
Major Characters: Vanya, Mrs. Deewaker
Theme: Death and overcoming grief
Narrator: First Person from Vanya’s point of view
Book Summary: Milky Tea & Vodka by Rhea Sharma
After losing her father in a drunk-driving accident, a devastated Vanya has managed to shut the world out. But when Mrs. Deewaker, an elegant wheelchair-bound woman moves back to the neighbourhood – with an unlikely favour to ask of Vanya – secrets begin to unfold from decades ago.
How far will Vanya go to help Mrs. Deewaker before she discovers some terrible truths?
Book Review: Milky Tea & Vodka by Rhea Sharma
There are books that make you smile in love or simply be thankful for opening your eyes every morning even if your life is far from being perfect. I would rather read a dark and gripping story because they truly make you feel alive. When you’re happy you don’t think about every aspect of your life, just about that one thing that makes it all good. Milky Tea & Vodka by Rhea Sharma is a story of the unfairness of life; how things are cut short, how things are not what they seem, how things are stolen, changed, a path diverted in a blink.
This book is perfect for a quick read on Weekend. We follow Vanya through her grieving process after she lost her father in a car crash. She spends her days running from reality and sleeping. After she meets Mrs. Deewaker, a lady from neighbourhood, everything changes and for the first time in months, she starts to feel alive. Mrs. Deewaker brings Vanya back from her shell and she opens up to Vanya about her own past revealing age-old secrets.
Both Vanya and Mrs. Deewaker are perfect for each other because they both went through similar things and yet they deal with grief in a different way. While Vanya locks it all inside, Mrs. Deewaker opens up and empty herself from the past.
What really impressed me about this little book is the characters themselves. I did quite enjoy them so much so that when the secrets did surface, I felt the betrayals personally. As if I were a member of this tight-knit group and that it had also happened to me. But more than that, what I liked most was the overall presentation of the imperfections within us. These characters have done wrong, and while you may want to judge them on impulse, you can’t because their sides and confessions are fleshed out. They simply suffer from immaturity, selfishness, panic, confusion. They show good parts, and bad parts, and suddenly your finger isn’t as quick to point. I liked all this.
Rhea Sharma’s style of writing is easy-going and captivating, yet packs a wallop of emotion. I am in love with this beautiful prose. Profound but calm at the same time. Debut author, Rhea Sharma’s, stunning portrait of a young girl’s grief in the most extreme stage shall touch the heart of every reader. The writing excellently portrays Vanya’s flow of consciousness through a variety of sentence length and structure. The dialogue is straightforward, even when a moment of profundity surrounds the speaking character. Knowing that the characters are saying more with fewer words lends the reader a sense of time. It never feels as though a scene is unnaturally long, or that a person in real life would never say so much at one time.
Milky Tea & Vodka by Rhea Sharma is lovely, dark, and deep story that sends a riot of emotions. Reading this story is a comfort and an experience, because it is such a possibility. This is truly a universal story that will not only entertain readers who love a story that pushes its sad protagonist toward happiness, but also speaks to the many people affected by grief and other strong emotions.