Author: Chandana Roy
Publisher: Black Ink Books
Cover Design: Saurav Das
Cover : 4/5
Title : 4.5/5
Blurb : 3.5/5
Theme : 4/5
Story : 3.5/5
Characters : 4.5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Overall : 4/5
- Ellora- The protagonist
- Aparna, Arnab- Ellora’s sister and brother respectively
- Aditi- Ellora’s best friend
- Jai- A famous surgeon and a friend of Aparna’s husband
- Neil- A prospective groom for Ellora
Raised to be a good girl, by her elderly uncle and aunt, Ellora Chatterjee lives by the rules of her orthodox society…until she falls in love at eighteen. The news of her romantic involvement with a debutant batsman playing for the Indian Cricket Team makes national headlines. Overnight, a shy Ellora turns into a sexy poster girl chased by the college hooligans, shunned by her prudish classmates and condemned by the parochial population of her provincial town. Set in India and America, A Good Girl is a heartrending story of a bright and beautiful young woman haunted by her scandalous past and caught up in a struggle to reinvent herself, after her whole life is turned upside down by one bad choice she had made as a naïve teenager. Now thirty-three, Ellora is once again facing a tough choice that will scandalize her community and hurt the people she cares for very deeply. Will she follow her heart this time?
A Good Girl by Chandana Roy is the story of a sweet Bengali girl named Ellora Chatterjee. Ellora, at the age of 8, is adopted by her paternal uncle and aunt, Dr. Akhilesh and Sumitradevi Chatterjee, respectively, after the death of her biological parents in a gruesome accident. Raised along with her first cousins Aparna and Arnab, children of Akhilesh & Sumitra, Ellora is never made to feel like an outsider. However, a shift from her old school to the new one makes her miss her friends and for a girl like her who prefers to keep to herself rather than be questioned about her parents, Ellora has a tough time looking for true friends. The entry of a new girl in the school – Aditi – is a blessing for Ellora. They soon become fast friends and would sometimes spend their vacations in Delhi.
During Aditi’s divorced mother’s remarriage in Delhi, Ellora meets and gels well with the Indian Cricket Team’s upcoming batsman, Rohinton Merchant. Their uncanny intimacy is caught on camera by a photographer, who sells it off to local magazines and newspapers, opening a pandora box of unanticipated events. The scandal makes it difficult for her parents to send her to Delhi for studying MBBS at AIIMS; but finally when they do agree to let her go, it is Ellora who backs off. It so happens that Rohinton starts distancing himself and it is only a matter of time before Ellora learns about his growing proximity with Aditi. She enrolls herself to a local medical college at a 2 hours drive from her home. The guys at that college make lewd remarks and when Ellora pushes one away with her strong words of rejection, he seeks vengeance by putting up life-size posters of Ellora’s pictures from the wedding of Aditi’s mother, making her look like an object of pleasure.
Facing the worst part of her life takes a toll on Ellora and her father’s growing worry for her results in a heart-attack for him. Ellora gives up on medicine and pursues Botany instead. She has no friends, rejects all the prospective grooms carefully chosen by her father, and it is difficult for her to come to terms with life. After her father’s death, her elder sister Aparna takes it on herself to find a groom for Ellora, who has now moved to the States. When she meets Jai and then Neil, both an utter delight and loved by her family, Ellora is stumped to realize the feelings that her mind can experience and the chemicals her brain can produce to control her.
Who does she finally land up with – Jai or Neil? Or does she decide to marry none, follow her heart and hurt her loved ones? I hope you’ll be glad with her decision as much as I am 🙂
The story ended rather abruptly; as a matter of fact I didn’t realize I was reading the last page and the conclusive words. I wanted to know more on what happened after Ellora made the biggest decision of her life. How her life turned out, how her family reacted to her decision, et al. Another factor that disappointed me was the limited description and information about Jai as a person. I would have loved to know more about him to be able to connect better to the story.
For a debutante, Chandana has a great sense of narration. She has an artistic style of describing things and even people; loading as many adjectives as seemingly possible. Her narration also has oodles of phrases, metaphors, similes, analogies, and much more. It gives a true taste of English Literature to anyone who is fond of such reading. For once, the narration is complex. Yet, Chandana has narrated the simple yet heart-rendering tale of Ellora in a manner that it is bound to connect to the readers on a level which will help them explore a part of themselves that they wouldn’t be aware exists in them. Being a romantic person, I absolutely enjoyed this journey of a good girl Ellora through love and life. Perfect grammar, exquisite editing, interesting characters and free-slowing script are some of the highlights of this book.
A classic narration of a good girl’s life (4/5)
Click here to read Chandana’s interview by me.
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