There is an old saying – You don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. This may sound philosophical and yet, if you delve behind the deeper meaning of these words, you may be unable to deny their truth.
However, for one moment, try putting the philosophy aside from this statement and read it in its literal implication – What if you didn’t know where you’ve been? Or had no clue about your past? Where would that take you?
Debut author Kanchana Banerjee tells just such a story in The Forgotten Affair.
Six months after a near-fatal accident, Sagarika Mehta wakes up from a coma with no memory whatsoever. Her care and recovery is being monitored by a man who claims to be her husband.
A year later, with no improvement in her condition, he whisks her away to a new home in a new city, to convalesce. Despite the plush new apartment, and enough people to wait on her hand and foot, Sagarika can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong.
In her struggle to remember, she stumbles upon tiny pieces of a puzzle that she can’t manage to fit anywhere. The sound of an innocuous word, the smell of a particular cologne – they all haunt her. She also notices Rishab, the husband, is evasive when it comes to answering any questions about her past.
With a blank memory and no one to trust, can Sagarika uncover the truth all by herself?
A Forgotten Affair is a love story, yes, and a lot more. It is also a thriller where the writer creates enough suspense to keep you hooked, page after page. Every character is finely crafted to the point that you can almost hear the wheels churning in their head as they make their move, carrying the story forward.
Amnesia may seem far too Bollywood-ish, but it is frightening to even imagine being put in a situation as grave as this in the real world. Nonetheless, the author has successfully woven a tragic condition into a heart-warming tale of love, faith and self-discovery. By staying away from the conventional rules of romance and love, she has injected a unique freshness in this story.
She also raises important questions regarding emotional abuse, control, a woman’s right to choose, and her place in society, among others.
The plot moves effortlessly between the present and the past, revealing circumstances and incidents crucial to the timeline. The language is smooth flowing, which makes you race through the book even though you struggle to slow down and savour every word.
Like the novel, even the cover of this book expresses beauty in its simplicity.
I am already looking forward to read Kanchana Banerjee’s next!
Title: A Forgotten Affair
Author: Kanchana Banerjee
Publisher: Harlequin (An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers India)
Edition/Year: First Edition 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
About the Author: After writing feature articles for various publications, PR firms, and companies for nearly two decades, Kanchana Banerjee decided to pursue her long -cherished dream – to write a novel.
She holds a master’s degree in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She lives in Gurgaon with her husband, son, and two dogs – Archie and Casper.
A Forgotten Affair is her first novel.
Note – I received this review copy from Writersmelon.com in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Image courtesy: https://harpercollins.co.in/