Friday, January 25, 2019

Book Review: The Sun Shines Down (Sankha Ghosh)

Book: The Sun Shines Down
Author: Sankha Ghosh
Publisher: Hawakal Publishers

Last month, I saw one of my facebook friends tagged with a book cover. On a closer look, I understood that it was a book written by Sankha Ghosh.

Sankha Ghosh was one of the early reviewers of my debut short story collection, Emotions Unplugged. I totally loved his honest opinion on my book. We were not in touch for a very long time. That's why when I saw him on Facebook, I sent him a friend request immediately. A set of communications, both on Facebook messenger and few phone calls followed later.

Early this month, he came with a request to share my opinion on his book. Like all other authors who reach out to me, I chose to reject his request. But then, somewhere I owed him for reviewing my book when I was a debutant. So finally, I agreed to share my honest opinion and the book took almost no time to reach me.

Author's Bio from the book: Sankha Ghosh is a banker by day and writer by night. Starting off as an environmental activist with an international foundation, he eventually got into the exciting industry of banking. An avid observer, an alternate thinker, and strictly opinionated, his writings have been published in several national and international blogs.

Before I go deeper into the story, let me be honest and say that I didn't like the cover or the title of the book. The cover doesn't tell much about the story. I would not have bought the book if I could have found it at an online portal or from a bookstore with this cover and title. The back blurb gives a rigorous idea of the plot. However, I found it a bit lengthy. Surprisingly, the page quality used in the book is good and the font size is perfect for our eyes, which is really appreciable but unexpected from a less known publisher like Hawakal.

The Sun Shines Down is a story about two individuals who belong to two very different social brackets. The first protagonist is Shreya Basu, a politician that India has hardly ever witnessed. With an impeccable beauty and excellent oratory skill, Shreya Basu’s shot to fame is no less than a fairy tale. But now she wishes to contest election with a powerful incumbent government at their own bastion.

The second protagonist is Faiz Ahmed. Obscured by thousands of unanswered questions, Faiz Ahmed is haunted by the ghosts of his past. And, to put them to rest, he wants one single thing - Vengeance.

To start the review, first I will talk about Sankha's narration. When dealing with two parallel stories of different persons, who fall in different social brackets, it’s really hard to maintain the distinct flavour for each of them, but he has done that with a lot of ease. Description of events and behaviour of characters left me in admiration for his amazing narration capabilities. When I read Faiz’s parts, I felt as I am seeing an innocent boy right in front of me. His thoughts, pain, everything is submerged in the story. While on the other side, description of Shreya, made me feel the intensity of her brilliance. It’s really rare in Indian Literary scenario to see such an impressive narration from a debutant.

On the language front, Ghosh again scores full marks. He has done a commendable job by maintaining the language simple yet captivating. Chapters are structured very well and are full of his minute observations that made characters more authentic and almost real. I never felt the story losing its engrossing characters. Every time I began with a new chapter, I felt more involved in the story and perfectly synched chapters made the book a wonderful read. Also, holding so many characters that come and leave the story after every few chapters with comfort is another skill that I loved in the author. The book was a fast-paced read with a number of twists and turns that make it ready for a good web series.

A major drawback with the book is its pricing. The book is priced at Rs 250 and is available for Rs 169 with a shipping cost of Rs 80. I believe this shall hinder the book success. Better pricing would have helped the book here.

To conclude my review, I must say, by far ‘The Sun Shines Down’ is one of the best books by any young Indian Author. It takes us towards the hope and a better life through the stories of loneliness and pain of common people like many of us. The book gives a great message to society and is capable of making anyone see the brighter side of life. The best thing about the book is that literally, anyone can read it because the story is not targeted at any specific age group and it’s clean enough that you can blindly suggest it to anyone. The book is simply flawless in almost every manner. If Sankha Ghosh is working on any new project, I’d be looking forward to it with certainly higher expectations.

You can get a copy of the book from

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