Book: Advantage Love
Author: Madhuri Banerjee
Number of pages: 191
Price: Rs. 195
Advantage Love by Madhuri Banerjee is a compelling and passionate contemporary Indian romance, set in Delhi.
Trisha Mathur leaves Lucknow for Delhi for her post-graduation degree at JNU. She crosses paths with a debonair politician-in-the-making, Vedant Kirloskar, who sweeps her off her feet into her first romantic relationship.
On the surface, they seem perfect for each other. In sync with each other’s needs, very much in love and passionate toward the same causes. But Trisha is seeking a wee bit more; the ultimate promise of commitment, while Vedant is unsure how he feels about them or where they are headed. Their irreconcilable differences, strong opinions and other commitments push them apart. Heartbroken, Trisha dives into the pressures of her first job and Vedant returns to Bombay to become a politician.
Trisha takes her time to heal. And in doing so, she also builds a wall around herself, shielding herself from feeling love again. Until she bumps into Abhimanyu, a dashing tennis star, one night on her way home from work. Before she knows, she is in love with Abhimanyu. However, she is still confronted by differences, albeit of another kind. And she is continually comparing Abhimanyu with Vedant; the latter being her first point of reference.
As Trisha is trying to make sense of all of her emotions, she crosses paths with Vedant again, who now seeks to rekindle their romance. Whom does Trisha pick
Advantage Love is a racy and engaging read; the kind that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy within. Banerjee chooses her words well. There is much detailing, be it in the clothes and accessories of her characters, their actions and their emotions. Very descriptive writing. However, she can tend to get very preachy about the concept of love, relationships and marriage, taking away from the story telling. There is too much pontification on the subject of love, what makes it successful, what makes a good partner, et al.
I also feel that the story could have been built on a stronger premise. Trisha’s discontentment with Abhimanyu stems from a rather trivial issue. It is a slightly weak plot in that sense. While I identified with some of the emotions and the consequent emotional turmoil, some of it made me want to slap Trisha for her stupidity and stubbornness. There are a few parallel plotlines that I was hoping Banerjee would have developed further, but that was not to be. The end also left me wanting.
But what Banerjee does do well is highlight the difference between contemporary love and its expectations with that of our parent’s generation. The obvious versus the subtle.
Advantage Love is a light, fun read. It will take you back to your carefree days in college when you had stars in your eyes and you thought the world to be at your feet. Read it and leave aside your cynicism for just a little while.
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