A Fool's Errand- Book Review
Book Title: A Fool's Errand (Kindle Edition)
Author: Vanita Bodke
Publisher: Self Published
My Rating: ***
About the Author: Vanita Bodke started writing when she realized she did not just prefer marching to the tune of a different drummer, but that she rather liked being that drummer herself. This is her second published novella, following Fault of 2018. Her short story "Winds of Change" was published in the Unbound e-magazine. Vanita lives in Navi Mumbai with her husband and son.
The Fool's Errand is a 566 pages Novella that made for an easy breezy read. A long narrative for a short story, which I think the author could have easily expanded into a full length novel if she wished to, because she was onto something of a good tale. As one begins to read, one would imagine that the protagonist Revati Kadam is in a love triangle, torn between her present husband Ritwik and her ex-boyfriend Vijendra Singh who is trying to make a come-back into her life. However, the story grows from being just another love-story to a full fledged corporate battle, rife with office politics, sly moves and the proverbial trump card reveal at the end.
The story opens with - 'It was already half-past eight on Monday morning when I returned from my long-delayed all-girl trip to Goa....' Now, reading this line after being stuck at home between a pandemic for most part of the year, this line would definitely have the effect that the author was aiming to achieve- grabbed my attention like pat!
All of the author's vast experience of the Electrical Engineering industry lends material and body to the story. The different characters that feature are portrayed sans drama and would be relatable for anybody who has been wading the corporate slurry. The no-fuss and no- drama style of story-telling may get a bit drab at times, but that might just be my personal choice influencing the opinion I want to express here, for I love such vivid descriptions appearing now and then in a story, like this paragraph here-
'Indulgent lovers turned their backs to intruding passers-by. Some of them held each other's hand and brooded over the uncertainty of future, some smooched, and some would have loved to go beyond passionate smooching, but all of them unanimously chose this sea as a silent spectator to their burgeoning love.'
And this- ' It was the time of peak monsoon, it was the time when the salty winds brushed past our faces with much vigour, and it was the time when the sea roared.'
Took me back to Bandra Bandstand or Juhu Beach of 'Bombay'- just like I remember it from the '90s (No idea if the romance there still continues! :D)
For me there was an additional treat even before the story began. The author is humble and modest in giving four full pages of acknowledgment to the editor and his talents, while giving a detailed account of the entire process they went through together to bring the story into shape, ready for publishing. The author Vanita Bodke also doffs her virtual hat to him!
Kindle edition of this novella is available on Amazon HERE
* Although, this review has been requested by the author who is a personal friend, I vouch that it is my genuine opinion on the novella.