Book Review – Anamika by Soorina Desai

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Well, this book had been on my bookshelf for long before I grabbed it out for reading. Some or the other commitments kept me occupied and reading about ‘the Nameless one’ (Anamika) kept on getting delayed. So, yes I’m guilty as charged!! 
But once I started to read through the pages I kind of developed literally an anxious interest in knowing what next was happening in the life of this book’s protagonist – Anamika.
Book Title – Anamika
Authors – Soorina Desai
Genre – Fiction/Romance
Publisher – Frog Books
Published in – September 2015
Pages – 234
Available Formats – Paperback & Kindle Edition
Price – Rs. 195 for Paperback Edition
Available Online at – &
This book took precisely five amusing bedtime sessions for me to turn over the final page.

The Plot:

As rightly described in the book’s excerpt on Amazon, Life perhaps has no story to tell but I feel perhaps the road to self-discovery is quite intriguing. This book transcends from childhood stage of idolizing someone to the platonic love stage and finally culminates into the light of true romance. Anamika is born to a big sari merchant’s family based in rapidly changing Mumbai. Her elitist family becomes friends with Rajbir and his wife this is when Anamika’s life takes the ultimate turn.

What Didn’t Work for Me:

  • Punctuation marks, spell checks could have been worked upon.
  • The first few chapters didn’t appeal to me and were strenuous to read because of the emphasis that author gave on describing Mumbai of 1940s era in great length.
  • I found some characters were redundant in the story and only added unnecessary clutter.

    What Worked for Me:

  • At many places the description of Mumbai, did amuse me as well, especially reading about some brands, restaurants & the contemporary lifestyle that was predominant in Mumbai of those times.
  • The matured handling while penning the relation between Anamika & Rajbir. In the sense that a love story with a huge age gap needs a careful attention lest it forays into inappropriate grounds simply to create a buzz about the book.

About the Author:

This is the first book written by Soorina Desai. She was born and brought up in Mumbai and has three books written by her till today. The other two novels being Blame it on Destiny & Barefoot to Paradise. Apart from this, she has also written many poems.


My rating for this book would be 3.5/5.
This life story of the pretty woman, ‘Anamika’ takes you through the real and sometimes tabooed dynamism of  human relationships. The person once you felt as a father figure, then an idol and somewhere down the years you grow up to realize that the admiration towards that person is nothing else but love.
What’s wrong and what’s right in our whole lifetime it’s for us to decide. Societal pressures often affect our life’s decision but are these pressures worth bearing the whole life, is what we all should ask ourselves.
If you are interested in reading about Mumbai of 1940s’ era or interested in reading an unconventional love story between a young girl and a man almost double of her age then go grab a copy of this intense life story, now!

Love thy Quote:

“There is much beyond the comprehension of the mind, there is even more beyond that of the heart.” – in Anamika by Soorina Desai

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Book Review: Anamika


Soorina Desai’s debut novel, Anamika, was first published in the year 2005 and republished in 2015. It is the story of Anamika and Rajbir. Written with an eye for detail, the story describes a time when India had newly gained its freedom. Romance in that era was very different from what we understand today. There’s a certain old school charm that gives the book a distinct flavour. One can say that it is a welcome respite from the usual run-of-the-mill stuff which today’s writers churn out with a depressing frequency.

The story starts with the protagonist’s birth at a time of political turmoil though this struggle doesn’t bleed into the main plot. It just sets the stage for the upper echelons of the society. We get to see and feel amidst nostalgia an era long gone. We also learn why Anamika – one who has no name – comes to be named thus. The story progresses with her life and gradually we are introduced to several other characters. Among them are Rajbir Thakore and his wife Mala Thakore. When Anamika first lays her eyes on Rajbir, she is merely a ten year old who is desperate to be acknowledged by her own parents. She is also struggling to grow out of her sister’s charismatic charm. Clearly she is not the darling of her parents unlike her beautiful and charming older sibling. At this juncture in her life Rajbir and Mala’s entry is a welcome change. The childless couple takes her under their wings immediately even as her parents open their arms and their household for the former. The innocence of the situation is not lost on the readers.

Time progresses. So does the story. Rajbir becomes a surrogate in Anamika’s life. He is her friend, teacher, confidant and her recluse. It is not long when she steps into her adolescence. In moulding her to his heart’s desire, Rajbir has unknowingly and unwittingly moulded Anamika into his desire. They share similar tastes in everything. And suddenly their relationship blossoms into something more than anybody would have liked. Theirs is almost like a forbidden love. Even if the sixteen year gap in their ages can be overlooked but the fact that Rajbir is a married man, can’t be. What happen next is for you to read and find out. The book is an emotional journey through various stages of life of Anamika. It is about birth, a search for an identity, intense emotion, illusion, disillusion, acceptance, death and a personal definition of eternity all pieced together for us to look back.  Perhaps the content of this book is for everybody who has been ruled by the heart, lost a lover without loosing love, asked questions to God but found answers within, and embraced life knowing it can be enjoyed only in small doses.

The story explores the unpredictability of life. It captures beautifully the essence of a bygone era. The dialogues sound natural and give distinct voice to each of the characters. The language is simple yet leaves behind a profound impact. Each chapter starts with a lovely quote. While reading, I came across some lines from a few ghazals of that era. The choice of these goes on to tell the immense research that has gone into making this story. I liked the minimalist cover of the novel too.

Title: Anamika
Authors: Soorina Desai
Publisher/ ImprintLeadstart Publishers /Frog Books
Pages: 234
Genre/ Sub Genre: Fiction/ Romance

Source :-


Anamika by Soorina Desai – Book Review


December 17, 2015   Book Reviews




Life perhaps has no story to tell. This book is about birth, a search for an identity, intense emotion, illusion, disillusion,acceptance, death and a personal definition of eternity. All pieced together for us to look back and see that we managed because we survived from moment to moment.

Even an ordinary life has one extraordinary chapter of love in it. This is Anamika’s tale of a pure but forbidden love, set in newly independent India, an era when romance had a different meaning and the language of romance had a different allure. Perhaps the content of this book is for everybody who has been ruled by the heart, lost a lover without losing love, asked questions to God but found answers within, and embraced life knowing it can be enjoyed only in small doses.


It is about finding peace through simple things, glimpsing heaven in a beloved pair of eyes, of recognizing blessings through a child’s laugh and living through the undulating journey of pleasure and pain with endless gratitude for having experienced life.

Book Review:

Anamika by Soorina Desai is a sweet story about the pure and platonic love of Anamika and Rajbir. It is not a story but a journey where one goes through various emotions with Anamika, the female protagonist of the novel. The story starts with the birth of the female protagonist who is born in an era when love and romance had a different meaning than the present times.

The plot is very much different from the other romantic novels of today and takes you to an era when romance meant having discussion over Ghazals of Begum Akhtar and gifting poetries.


The characters have been built very well and one feels an immediate connect with them. Anamika, Rajbir, Siddharth and all other characters have been portrayed beautifully. The author has managed to capture the sentiments of the characters very well.

The moments become alive with the vivid description of the author. One can feel the emotions and connect with the characters very easily. The exemplary narration by the author takes you to the era of mid 20th century India, where one relives every moment described in the novel. The book is an emotional journey through various stages of life of Anamika. The language of the book is very good.

Overall the book is a delight to read and is highly recommended for those who like reading soft and sensitive love stories.

Every chapter of the book starts with few lines that are simply wonderful. Usually I do not include excerpts or phrases from any book, but here are few lines for you to relish:

The first chapter of the novel starts with the lines:

Where is the God that I have been promised? Candles have all burnt to their ends,

Save myself now there is nothing to burn. To reach him can I not spare myself?

and the last one with:

No wish to live forever, a wish for loved ones to blossom alone,

No wish to be remembered, a wish to reunite with their souls

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