Book Review: The Curse of Damini: Debajani Mohanty



The Curse of Damini by Debajani Mohanty is a novel with many faces with a story of adventure and intrigue of a poignant story of a girl between those who thought she had consumed the heart and by chance rediscovers the passion and fire of the senses until a shocking surprise, pale in the dawn, which sews all the threads of the narrative.

The book is more than a mystery set in the early years of the 1940s, with the story narrates the onerous expedition of Renuka Pal, the central character, from a rash teenage freedom fighter to the weathered novelist of the 21st century India. The world seemed not enough for free spirited Renuka, when she married the extremely sophisticated Shashank hailing from the mightiest Zamindars of Bengal.

Nevertheless, soon her existence is turned upside down when a neighbour exposed her of their disturbing past with a baffling mystic curse cast on their family nearly a century back. Generation by generation, Damini's incensed blight had passed on waning their family clique from hundreds to a handful few. Renuka would not settle until she finds a response and in her mission she struggles to get rid of all the tribulations that come in her way.

The book also has a very charming location where it is easy to get lost, especially thanks to the wonderful descriptions that the author creates. The plot is very smooth and compelling and has beautiful story with which to dream for a couple of hours. Everything is described in great detail cared for, as always, with the details of clothes, rooms and events, allowing the reader to dip into the atmosphere cited and follow the evolution of events with ease.

The plot may not be original, but it is in any case a nice book, which offers some nice surprise and a nice twist at the end. Certainly a story perfect for dreaming. The book creates a kind of meatloaf, with an intricate story. Even the characters seem true, rather than being stereotypes, who has a psychological depth. The novel evaporates page by page, that manage to get noticed and to estimate the undoubted ability to devise a storyline in a historical environment exposed beautifully.

The novel is really very beautiful and very delicately touches of the topics with the writer decide to tell the events alternating the thoughts and lives of the protagonist. The novel is a mature work, impeccable in the construction of the events, characters and the use of language.

A large fresco of a dark age and undermined by struggles between temporal and spiritual, is outlined in brilliant colours between these pages, dominated by a relentless narrative rhythm in the middle of the nineteenth century among aristocracy and servants, comfort and misery, darkness of intrigue, violence and blind madness.

The pen of the author draws masterfully a perfect social web, placing at the centre the eternal lust for power and abuse, along with so many human ravenous whether princes or commoners. The era is one in which the witch hunt serves as political cover to eradicate the enemy, to avenge wrongs, to handle private and social uncomfortable situations.

The events becomes the mirror of a dark and complex period, thanks to the ability of the writer to outline these two faces contextualizing them and putting them in perfect harmony in the folds of history. A job well executed, worthy labour of a thick pen, the construct is extremely rich with sophisticated style, far from the language of so slender and fast contemporary literature.

Thanks to the language skills of the author are images of places and faces blazing flashes of light and the dark recesses of the soul, cruel hearts, human misery black as night in a novel that encompasses the breadth of human feelings, mercy to the burning coal for power. A novel often bleak for the rawness of the facts, yet fascinating and engaging with a precious item to bring richness and texture to history, which deserves to be better known.

This book should be approached as an experimental narrative, like an imaginative game that retrieves the pieces of the time and try to arrange them in a different way than the dictates handed down by history, like a torch between the dark walls of medieval light years away.


Format: Paperback ♥ Publisher: Partridge India ♥ Pages: 200 ♥ Published: July 2015 ♥ Language: English ♥ ISBN-13: 978-1482851076