A Home For Urvashi is my second book for review sent by Writersmelon. I am so very glad that I am one of the book reviewers for Writersmelon. My first book was Beyond Secrets which I still haven’t forgotten even after three months. You can read my review here.
Coming to A Home For Urvashi, what shall I say. It’s penned down by Sanchali Bhattacharya and has taken over me completely. We have to pick a book for review from a list of books with Writersmelon and I still remember hovering the mouse over this book before finally clicking on the circle.
What made me pick A Home For Urvashi? It’s cover page and the title. The grey cover page with flying birds in the background and half face of a girl, initially made me think of two plots: the story might have a spooky angle or it’s about a bereft/orphaned/lonely girl. But, my my, I could have never imagined what I got. Let’s jump to the review or I might never stop praising A Home For Urvashi.
(The best part of book reviews for Writersmelon is that you don’t get to read the blurb of the book. So, Writersmelon always surprises me!)
‘I DIED THE DAY I WAS BORN’
The story revolves around twin sisters Dulari and Ujjwala. Dulari, unfortunately, could live only a few hours after birth while Ujjwala was soon found a home after adoption. Dulari now a spirit, lives in the mortal world around her sister, Ujjwala, which Ujjwala is unaware of. Dulari loves her sister so much that she cannot think of staying away from her even for a day.
Since Dulari has known that she is dead and a spirit she has had one dream, to be reborn as Ujjwala’s daughter. However, certain events in Ujjwala’s life trigger a turmoil and bring Dulari at crossroads. Dulari is a spirit and with a little assistance she can help her sister emerge from the tornado that has hit her life. But for this, Dulari will have to give up her dream of being reborn as her sister’s daughter for which Dulari has waited for twenty-nine years.
Dulari finds herself torn between her love for Ujjwala and her dream to live with her sister as her daughter in the mortal world.
Why Should You Read A Home For Urvashi
This is my most favorite part of a book review and for A Home For Urvashi, I can give umpteen numbers of reasons to why should you add this amazing work to your to-be-read list.
Okay! Where do I start? There is so much to say about this book that I am all over the place. Phew!
Let me be honest. When I started reading the book I couldn’t understand who the narrator is, where does she live, or who is her ‘Mother’ (owing to her description) she refers to so often. This is because I had not read the blurb and so couldn’t put two and two together. (And, I am extremely glad about this).
A few pages of reading and the mist on my doubts cleared. I find the narrator is Dulari, the dead twin sister of Ujjwala, the protagonist. Dulari is a powerless spirit who stays with her sister and moves between the realms (mortal world and spirit world) to meet her mother, i.e. Saturn, the planet.
In fact, to I think of it, on one hand, if Ujjwala is adopted, Dulari is adopted too, in the spirit world, by Saturn. Saturn names Ujjwala’s twin sister’s spirit Dulari and she comes to call Saturn as her mother. I think this a lovely connect, don’t know if only I saw it, or the author did think of it.
Wow! This is amazing, I thought. This kind of story was my first and I was completely engrossed in it. Being a mother to a toddler I am always on toes and it was extremely difficult to put this book down even for a second, let alone hours. (Welcome to motherhood, Rashi. I reminded myself).
The sister love portrayed in the story is extremely intense and strong. The desire to spend life with her sister as a mortal being is so great that Dulari is waiting since twenty-nine years just to be reborn as her sister’s daughter. Ujjwala has a son and Dulari keeps noting mentally everything she would do with Ujjwala and her elder brother when her dream comes true.
The story also very smartly hits at a taboo our society would never accept, even in dreams, kind of a forbidden relationship. I never guessed this twist, to be honest. And when it unfolded it did push me to ponder over it. I better stop here for if I talk more I fear I might spill the beans and spoil the plot.
Moreover, the author has very beautifully described the story of a spirit and the spirit world. In fact, the transition between the mortal world and the spirit world is so smooth that you just sway with it.
Another thing which I loved (I have a long list of things I loved in this book) is the description of the afterlife where the spirits have a life, a choice, and even a university (yeah, you heard it).
The entire description of the spirit world, the life of a spirit on earth, it’s emotions, it’s powers, and just everything is written down in such a gripping way that I actually wondered how would it be if the spirit world was like this or what if really have spirits like Dulari amongst us?
I have always believed in spirits and their existence (personal experience or rathar experiences). And hence, kept thinking about the book even after I had finished it. Oh Goodness! See, that’s the power of A Home For Urvashi, I’m just going on and on, and believe me I still can. I have loved this book so much.
For me, there is nothing very major to be called as a drawback except for two. One, I couldn’t really connect the name Urvashi with the story. two, I felt the twist when a tornado hits Ujjwala’s life and the story after does come out as a little dramatic, especially how Dulari tackles it with her cat friend, Beral. How Dulari manipulates the character responsible for the turmoil in her sister’s life, umm, can be said a little, theatrical, if I may say.
Yet, I would highly recommend this book for it’s not only a refreshing read but is packed with thrill, suspense, and emotions, all in one. Not to mention, again, that it definitely makes for a great read.
About The Author
A Home For Urvashi is penned by Sanchali Bhattacharya, who is an electrical engineer from Jadavpur University and the director of her manufacturing and engineering company. She has written many short stories which have featured in The Statesman, while her first novel was Ashes & Roses.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy the Book Here
“I received a copy of this book from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.”