Book Review: ‘In The Light Of Darkness’ by Radhika Maria Tabrez

Genre: Literary
Publisher: Readomania
Twenty years ago, Susan Pereira had to send her only child Matthew, to a faraway boarding school. That one decision brought their relationship to a cul de sac, which she still hasn’t been able to break out of. Matthew is too distant and too angry to relent.

Meera Vashisht’s misguided love left her bruised, shattered, and abandoned, only to be found and healed by Susan. 

Set on a fictional Indian island paradise called Bydore, In The Light of Darkness is a journey of broken souls looking for closures and new beginnings.

Does Susan manage to win back her son? Does Matthew find the future his mother hoped he would? Does Meera finally get away from her past?

My Review
In The Light Of Darkness is a tale of optimism, hope and belief against all odds. Ms Tabrez has woven an intricate story of two lost souls who suffer in the hands of fate but emerge stronger from their dark experiences and find happiness.

Susan, a social worker, finds Meera, beaten and battered, almost on the threshold of death in Bydore General Hospital. She has lost her memory and doesn’t have a home. Susan brings Meera home to recuperate and regain her health. Susan’s maternal instincts come to fore when she comes to know young Meera’s sufferings. As they get to know each other they find solace in each other company and Meera decides to make Bydore her home.

Matthew, angry with his mother Susan for sending him away to the hostel, has never been to Bydore in eleven years. He comes to Bydore under tragic circumstances. Guilt and sorrow drives him to his childhood home but nothing gives him the much needed closure, until he comes across a letter.

Ms Tabrez takes us through the heartwarming journey of how forgiveness and acceptance helps the soul heal and find peace. How life is all about facing your demons and overcoming them. And running away is not an option. I loved the small town touch given to fictitious place Bydore—the beach, old mansion, all powerful Mayor, strict Colonel, small book-cum-souvenir shop. The scenic descriptions add to the charm of the story.

Matthew’s character is the strongest in the book and I liked the way he found light in the darkness through the letter, which was brilliantly written. Meera’s story is mostly from other character’s point of view, which I liked and sympathized but could not get emotionally involved. All the secondary characters support the protagonists admirably.

The story goes back and forth from present to flashback to back stories of the protagonists, giving us a glimpse of the characters and their motivations. The narration, I must say, veers from simple to a bit esoteric. I am not being pompous when I say I have a pretty good vocabulary, but even I had the urge to refer the dictionary for a few words; and that broke the concentration.

All in all commendable debut and recommended read for people who are looking for an emotional yet uplifting story.

PS: I normally do not comment on the cover, but this one demands special mention. From the rusted, moss covered gate lock showing the large bungalow behind, to the first rays of sun falling on the gate, the cover gives the right window or glimpse of the story and setting, which takes you from darkness to light.

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