Author: Rakhi Jayashankar
Waves in the sky narrates the story of six girls who studied together in the same school and were popularly known as the Canaries. CANARY is an acronym for Charu, Ananya, Neha, Avantika, Raihana and Yami, the six girls whose story unfolds in the novel. The girls grow up and go to different colleges and also learn about some betrayals that had occurred within the group when they were at school. Not all friendships are genuine. People have various motives for being part of a group and some of the motives may lead one to betray the group or some members of the group for one’s own personal interests.
Life is full of incidents that are born of betrayals by friends as well as relatives. The novel explores some such betrayals or even plain murders. Some of the murders can shock the male readers. Are women capable of such cruelty? Can a mother kill her own offspring?
The back cover blurb classifies the book as “Fiction: Contemporary Women.” Written by a woman, the novel explores the psyche of some female characters though not in great depth. The novel can also be classified as mystery or thriller. Thrillers don’t explore the psyche. They tell a gripping tale keeping the suspense alive throughout.
The problem, however, is that Waves in the sky oscillates between the traditional literary narrative and popular thriller. So it may fail to satisfy both kind of readers. It fails to present well-rounded characters. On the other hand, the mystery is not masterfully controlled. Yet the novelist succeeds in telling a story that can keep the reader engaged with unflagging interest till the end. Rakhi Jayashankar is a good story-teller.
A little more careful editing would have been desirable. There are quite a few unpleasant phrases or sentences. “Death rights” instead of “death rites” and “umpteen number of times” instead of “umpteen times” are examples.
In spite of the grammatical and semantic drawbacks, the novel is eminently readable and highly fascinating because the author has indeed a good story to tell. It presents the real life in a very realistic narrative. It is light and pleasant reading.
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