Arjun has disowned his wife, Neema. She has grown to hate her tormentor, her husband, yet knows a divorced woman in India is a scandal and she is trapped. With a malicious mother on the other end, she has nowhere to go. When Arjun, aided and abetted by his mother in law, escalates his attempts to eliminate Neema, she holds her peace, sinks into the fantasy of Bollywood movies, and later empowered by the return of her long-lost friends finds the strength to go in search of a new life
A pretty young woman, Neema, is trapped in a loveless marriage. Unable to walk out of it thinking of her young daughter. Sadly, she had been pushed into this unfortunate situation by her own mother.
The story reflects the belief of our society that a woman without a husband cannot survive; that the value of a father's name attached to a child, even if his existence is meaningless, is priceless compared to a hardworking and selfless mother. Read full review at Natasha'z Words
"A darling in your fifties" is work of literary fiction by first time author, Nagalakshmi M G aka Ashmi.
When I started the book, my first thoughts were that the author should have used some software to get her grammar right. Also, although on the one hand, I'd like to applaud her effort for actually getting a book published, I felt the narrative was very hurried, with the scenes jumping from one thought to another too fast. It was like reading someone's journal, where she had jotted down her thoughts in an incoherent manner, just for the sake of personal record.
But as I turned the pages, the story went from cringe-worthy to sick, to absolutely incredulous. I tolerated the scene where the father of the protagonist, Neema takes away his granddaughter for the weekend, so that his daughter can "enjoy" with her estranged husband. I even laughed at her description of the "bony wrist" of her love interest. (I mean… whatever gets your motor running…)
But then, it became very difficult for me to digest that everybody from Neema's mother, to her aunts, to her friends and colleagues, and possibly even her postman, know the details of her sex life. They even openly comment on it in her presence.
The characters and threads have not been treated well enough to be consistent throughout the story. Some of the threads are not followed to completion. And the climax is all the more disappointing. You never understand how some of the things came about to be. Probably the answer lies in the paranormal angle that is also explored in the book.
Will I recommend this book to anybody? May be, under the title "How NOT to write a book".
The story is about the protagonist Neema who is disowned by her husband (antagonist) who plots to eliminate her. A story revolving around the problems Neema faces in her life and meeting her girly long lost gang and finding a way for her new life. This is the authors first work of fiction but Ashmi has managed to keep me hooked all the time! Neema facing too many blocks in the patriarchal society, escapes the near death situations by maintaining peace. “The Darling in your fifties,” with its satisfying narrative and swift read, is in some ways a match for some of the great Indian debut novels. But it lacks their exhilarating sense of freshness, with its dull blurry cover. Ashmi’s writing is absolutely alive after Chapter 4, un-flattened by fear of errors, which means that there are errors and some of them are very bad grammatical errors. Damn, this book should be re-edited!
The story starts slow, but eventually takes a good pace and brings a lively ending!
A good debut novel with a bollywood masala essence which perhaps should be re-edited again
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I was your student many years ago and always knew you could be a good author. The brief lecture you used to deliver on equality of gender would be thought inspiring and we loved your teaching methodology. I remember asking you once what interested you in the novel written by McCarthy that you were then reading and you had said "his language". Though I read your novel with a dictionary, I really enjoyed it. It's written in a unique style and language is poetic. Particularly I liked the dreams that are popped into the novel. The imageries they create are enduring and thrilling.
I read the other reviews given on Goodreads and am wondering what one Ms. Sunny means when she talks about some software, because as your students we know that everyone in the college had an admiration for your grasp of the English language.
Only a person with English Literature background who knows the different trends of using challenging styles of writing would love your book. The little poem you have written about Bobby Deol also is very interesting :) Can't wait to read more of your novels. Wishing you the best ma'am.