“Somehow, she seemed abruptly blown away by myriad trains of thought, which had all the left the station at once and had a terrible collision on the tracks. Suddenly she appeared as a king lost for orders, a mask lost for human face, a writer lost for words.”- Zuni Chopra (The house that spoke)
Author: Zuni Chopra
No of pages: 223
Publisher: Penguin India
About the book:
A small haven of wonder lies amidst the shrubs and trees and is hidden in isolated bliss. This is the house of Zoon Razdan where she lives with her mother. The house is woven with a sense of magic where one can talk with the armchair, fireplace, books, the portraits. All things inanimate come to life in this magical haven. Zoon loves the house and feels an indomitable bond to all the objects in the house but all is not well, as Kashmir simmers with violence every passing day, Zoon’s mother decides to sell the house and leave.
Zoon needs to stop her mother at all cost but what can a fifteen years old do. Amidst her tryst to save her house Zoon discovers some greater responsibilities. She needs to wage a battle with a sinister darkness and the well-being of entire Kashmir is dependent on this.
The author has a lot of clarity in the writing and the description is strong. The period of increasing turmoil and strife in Kashmir has been beautifully crafted. The author has been brilliantly able to bring out the everyday hardships of people in Kashmir which you can connect to. Zoon having a conversation particularly with the armchair, books and fireplace were my favourite parts as there was an innocence to it. At times some of the sentences in the book I found a little too long which diluted the essence.
This book captures your attention from the first chapter itself and has an immersing characteristic to it. The latent factors and symbolism have been crafted very well. The anguish and pain of leaving one’s home are beautifully portrayed. On a deeper introspection, the novel made me realise that when it comes to protecting one’s home we all have an innate strength that transcends age or strength. Secondly, problems which cast its darkness very often we try to push them and fail at it, what I realised was one has to permeate this darkness and have the courage to look in its eye. We then emerge out stronger.
I received a review copy from the publisher for an honest opinion and review.