Book Review: Death in Every Stride
The moment I saw this book up for review on The Tales Pensieve, I called for a copy immediately. No, I am not a sadist and I do not enjoy reading about people who are in immense pain (this book is about domestic violence, assault, rape) but sometimes knowing about people who suffer such a great deal, helps you realize that we nitpick over such trivial matters in our life.
This book is an Epistolary (novel written in the form of diary entries, letters). It is the story of Krisanne, who like many other Indian girls gets tied down with a groom of her parent’s choice. With dreams in her eyes about her new life, she embarks on this, so-called, blissful journey called Marriage. How her dreams get shattered by a monster (her husband – Paul) and his atrocious and merciless behavior is the story of Death in Every Stride.
I had developed a penchant for reading this style, after reading so many of Princess Diaries. Though, I never thought that I will end up reading, such a genre, in this style. Krisanne’s diary depicts the brutal and pitiless behaviour she tolerated in the name of marriage. The story spans over 20 years. The character of Paul has been drafted well. The author has hit the bulls-eye in penning Paul like the perfect villain. It comes across very evidently. Two or three incidents of his behavior have been written by the author so well that your heart almost cringes for Krisanne. You just want to pull her out and comfort her. You can hear the silent screams and tears and that is a victory for such a young author. Out of their two kids, the character of Aarav remains questionable. His behavior, his softness for his ruthless father, is very difficult to fathom. Emily,their daughter, becomes the most favored character. Her fearless streak just wins your heart and reading about her is the only time the reader smiles in the entire novel.
There were a few questions unanswered here. Inspite of having such a huge family and loving siblings why didn’t Krisanne ever confide in them? Why didn’t her family regularly check on their beloved daughter? Why did she not raise her voice when her kids were going through the same ordeal? A mother ceases to think as a wife or a daughter if a single tear drops from her child’s eye. Then why didn’t Krisanne oppose what her children were facing? Also I felt some places the authenticity of Krisanne’s feelings were camouflaged by the unnecessary usage of heavy and difficult words, thus losing the plot in those times.
Other than these minor hiccups, Death In Every Stride is a hard-hitting read and leaves you very emotional and with a melancholy feeling. A feeling which will definitely stay with you for long.
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