Graffiti (/ɡrəˈfiːti/) noun
Writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted illicitly on a wall or other surface, often within public view.
The novel is much like its title. It is a collection of events in the lives of two people, living in different countries, who are destined to come together and change each other’s lives through a peculiar connection. Although, the significance of this word in respect to the novel is much deeper.
Vipin, an Indian techie working in the USA, is grieving over the death of his wife. His friends and colleagues offer little solace, but not for lack of trying. In fact, their well-meaning attempts are a constant source of frustration for Vipin.
Rene, living in Bangalore, is trying to make sense of her dreams while dealing with her own heartbreak. Her boyfriend seems to have vanished into thin air leaving her pining for him.
As their stories progress in their respective time zones, other characters are added to the tangled web of their individual lives. There is Upasana (Upi), Rene’s closest friend who has taken it upon herself to fix Rene’s troubles. Then there’s Mark, who on one glimpse of her, believes he has found his soulmate in Rene.
Meanwhile, Vipin, surrounded by friends from his days of bachelorhood, is wondering if he will ever overcome this constant feeling of helplessness and get his life back on track, as Rene takes baby steps towards attempting to reinvent herself with Upi’s help.
The novel is largely narrated in the third person, with the exception of Vipin’s story that is told in first person (which is only appropriate since ‘Graffiti’ primarily revolves around him).
At the beginning, there seem to be too many characters being introduced into the plot, making it unclear where the story is heading. It takes a while for each of them to take their own paths.
The concept of ‘Graffiti’ is unique in how art may influence our perception of experiences and drive us to change in our lives. The book has elements of humour, drama, some suspense, and romance – specifically geared for an adult reader base. It is an exploration of situations and the complex relationships they create (or destroy), amidst changing concepts of Indian society. There are generous helpings of an earthy Indian-ness in the characters and their stories. However, the idea of India described here seems a tad dated, considering there has been a lot of progress in its culture and beliefs.
It may be recommended to put the manuscript through another round of editing, for both grammar and plot, before the next edition is released. (It can be irksome for a reader to pause reading when something doesn’t fit). Also, the reading guide (received separately) could be added to the ebook.
Author: Joanie Pariera
Edition/Year: First Edition 2013
Rating: 3 Stars
Available on Amazon.
About the Author: Joanie Pariera (Pen Name), has apparently been thinking about writing fiction since the time she learned to say the word ‘pencil’. It came to be, that that was the first word her parents taught her to say. According to them, she then made up her own word for it just to see them squirm.
She likes to think she is a master of many things, including making up words. To start with she has two master’s degrees. She cooks, keeps house, codes and programs, and until recently used to write specifications for Information Systems for a living. Having traveled extensively, she has self-assimilated the cultural nuances of various unsuspecting anthropological groups and stealthily continues to put down her impressions in her writing.
To learn more about her, visit her webpage – http://joaniepariera.com/.
Note – I received this review copy from Writersmelon.com in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Picture Source: goodreads.com