Ruati Chhangte | Book Review

My first encounter with Salini Vineeth’s debut full length novel ‘Lost Edges’ was way back in November 2020 when she had sent me the first three chapters for beta reading. I sat with these three chapters for 2 weeks, wrote down copious points, and reverted with a long long feedback, complete with unsolicited line editing & nitpicking on choice of words, grammar, etc (what an author’s nightmare, right?). I’m sure this gives you a fair idea of how hooked I was with this story from the get go. And I’m pretty certain that my over the top response was a bit much for Salini, but she, being the ever-graceful woman that she is, didn’t let on. I’ve read and helped edit the manuscript again a couple of times over these past 2 years, and have watched it evolve and take shape to finally become the beautiful novel that it is today.

Lost Edges follows the life of a young married couple Geetanjali & Ravi as they navigate their deep-seated insecurities, mental health issues and the secret longings of their heart.

These two headstrong, flawed and very real protagonists made me laugh, cry, and pull my hair in frustration at times. I could see so much of myself in these two characters, and I think that is the real triumph of this novel, that readers are able to connect with the protagonists at such a real emotional level. Despite all the arguments and misunderstandings between the couple, Salini has still managed to convey the very intense love and affection between them, and as readers, we can’t help but root for them throughout. There is just something so honest and real about Salini’s portrayal of her protagonists and their inner life, and as you progress through the story, you get the sense that a lot of it is based on the author’s life and her experiences. Or maybe I am projecting because many instances in the novel felt like they were plucked from my own life.

The novel also deals with the harsh reality that so many of us in India are stuck in the rat race, doing jobs that absolutely drain our spirit and suck the life out of us.

As a former banker and marketing manager who ploughed her way through the whole corporate grind for almost 10 years, to finally find peace in a relatively ‘unglamorous’ job in a small town, this couldn’t have been closer to home for me. And for the readers who are currently going through the hustle and bustle, never ending traffic, office politics and terrible bosses in a job that you hate, I hope that the story of Ravi and Geethu gives you the courage to find your inner quiet place, and seek out your passions. Things do work out. For real!

At times, the novel reads like a travelogue, and I love that!

I thoroughly enjoyed traveling through Goa, Bangalore, Bolpur, Kolkata, and exploring the rich cultural and historical elements of Goa and Shantiniketan, especially the Kantha weaving of rural Bengal. The travel bug in me totally lapped up the vivid description of these places. What a treat!

The raw and honest portrayal of mental health issues is another huge plus for the novel.

Mental illness & depression are topics that we need to talk about more. And I’m so glad that this novel deals with these pivotal issues with so much grace and empathy, without resorting to caricaturing the protagonists.

Lovely Cover Design

And can we also talk about how gorgeous the cover is?! We loved it so much that we had a whole photoshoot with it in our office garden.

Lost Edges by Salini Vineeth is indeed a literary gem, and one not to be missed.

If you’d like to pick out a copy of Lost Edges, you can access it through this link on Amazon.

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