Book Review: You Beneath Your Skin by Dimyanti Biswas

Rating: 5 out of 5.
You Beneath Your SkinYou Beneath Your Skin by Damyanti Biswas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The stories that are told in this book are authentic because we know that they are based on the reality of extreme poverty, corruption, violence and injustice that exists in Dehli and many other cities in India and around the world.

But is more than just authentic. The characters in the book bring to life the complex problems that exist in such society. The emotions of the readers are shaken and stirred. The writing is so atmospheric that I could feel and see and hear and smell the mood of the city as it approaches Christmas.

Murders, prostitution, drug dealing, drug abuse and adultery all figure in the story. The most dominant form of crime or violence is an horrific acid attack. This is portrayed from many points of view: the victim, those closest to her, the search for the perpetrator and the speculations surrounding who did it. You can feel the pain and the anguish.

Autism is also a central theme from the beginning of the book to the end. The effects and perception are dealt with very well in the writing. Again, the topic is described from many points of view which show that the author has great insight.

There are twists and turns right up to the end of the book. Although I predicted many of the outcomes from fairly early on, I was not disappointed by that predictability. On the contrary. I felt compelled to read on to see how it turned out.

One thing that I really loved about this book were the continual references to the wise quotes from Mirza Ghalib. Allow me to share a few with you.

A heart is a heart not a brick or stone, Ghalib rightly said, why should it not brim over with pain?

Be like a boat. All the water in the sea can’t drown a boat unless it springs a leak. Don’t let it get to you.

Follow the example of water: pause and gather strength, until an obstacle no longer presents a challenge.

And my favourite of all:

Try as you might, love is a fire you may not wilfully light, nor snuff out at your will.

This is a very beautifully written story and I highly recommend it.

View all my reviews

About Lance Greenfield

Blog: email: I published my debut novel in December 2014: Eleven Miles. My second novel went live in February 2016: Knitting Can Walk!
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