11 May 2016

False Ceilings ~ Book Review



I recently read False Ceilings by Amit Sharma and it was astounding.

False Ceilings is a gripping tale of a dysfunctional family and their secret that passed on through generations.

Born in the lush mountains of Dalhousie in 1930, Shakuntala is a pampered child of a wealthy builder. On her wedding night, she is gifted a bundle covered in yellow cloth, to use wisely when the time is right. But then she keeps it as secret forever which is then passed on through generations. The story spans more than a century and when her great grandson accidentally discovers that secret in 2065, he is perplexed by the malice that flowed in his family's blood. Not only him, but that secret also baffles us.

It is commendable that Amit Sharma has chosen such a complex story line for his debut novel. However complex it is, his narration makes it crafty and the pace was good enough to keep the readers arrested till the end.

The cover page and title becomes meaningful only after we start reading the story. This book is basically a family saga in which the story continually shifts between future, past and the present. I enjoy non linear narration and this style adds charm to the book. The author cleverly maintains the suspense by not revealing the characters and their relationships. So at the beginning, we don't know who is who and how they are related. But as the story oscillates back and forth, we understand what's going on in their lives.

Few mysterious references at the beginning and the family's domestic issues took the story forward. Then at one point, it struck me who they really were. This narrative technique worked seamlessly for this plot. At first, the author kept me wondering and then challenged me and finally threw some light. And that's when I could connect all the dots.

The entire story is like a jigsaw puzzle, where we connect the pieces one after another, finding the missing part much later and at the end the whole story makes a lot of sense. The narration might be confusing to some, but I enjoyed it to the core. I think this particular writing style adds the thrill factor to the book.

Some dialogues were really well done and the writing was profound. At few places I noticed something was not right and felt a bit dragging too. I loved the characterization. Each characters has their own flaws with unique identity and that makes them real. There's no lead character but everyone is pivotal. They all are connected with one family secret, knowingly and unknowingly.

Since the story sets in different eras, the as much as necessary mentions of few real life events added essence to that particular period. The story mainly takes place in Dalhousie and Delhi. The descriptive prose brought out the beauty of both the locations. I was mesmerized by the sunset at Dalhousie as much as I enjoyed the never ending and bustling Delhi. 

As the story evolves, it stirred my curiosity to know what could be that secret they were trying to hide. On the go, I witnessed love, hatred, jealousy, selfishness, envy and insecurities among the family members and how they transform as they get older. When the story travels to the future, many things have changed for better and easy lifestyle, but ironically, human emotions remain the same. There's a tinge of sadness and regrets throughout but the mystery alone makes the book intriguing and unputdownable. When I discovered what's inside that yellow cloth at last, I was dumbfounded.

The book begins with Aaryan and his IF ELSE statement, which he thinks, it's so much applicable to life. He made me chuckle and instantly grabbed my attention from page one. In the first few pages, I also came to know how his character evolved and then his death in the future. An IF ELSE statement he scribbled that night and the old almirah witnessed his death. Then in future, there's Lipi who is old and mourning her husband's death. She's left with no clue behind Aaryan's death but the IF ELSE statement and the almirah. Apart from the characters, the almirah plays an important role in the book. That almirah has seen and also became a reason for the deaths of the family members. What is in it? What secret it beholds? False Ceilings has all the answers.

On the whole, False Ceilings is a great story of a disturbing family silsila which might lead us to our own secrets.

Grab a copy at Amazon

I received a free copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.


12 comments:

  1. Sounds interesting. Well reviewed dear :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. thorough and gripping review, if book is even half interesting than your review then it is a fantastic book, well reviewed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a big complement, Cifar. I enjoyed reading the book. Do give it a read and find out if it interests you. Thank you so much! :)

      Delete
  3. Looks like a very gripping family saga coverung two three generations. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, this is a story of 6 generations. :)

      Delete
  4. Looks to be a Good one.. best wishes to the Author.

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah it is indeed a good read. :)

      Delete
  5. Loved the review ... eager to grab the book now :-)

    http://livinglifegreenspeck.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad my review stirred your interest, Amrit. :)

      Delete
  6. Nice review, Meera. I enjoyed reading the book like you... :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Maniparna. Yeah, the story has something in to to grab our attention fully. :)

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...