Book Review: “House As We Knew It: Life of Unending Memories” by Vasvi Tiwari

Title: House As We Knew It: Life of Unending Memories”
Author: Vasvi Tiwari
Pages: 210
Publisher: Notion Press
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The gifts given by elders, especially in the form of inheritance hold a significant and close place in our hearts. Whether those things evoke nostalgia or a sense of belonging or just a long lost connection, the feeling cannot entirely be explained through words. When it is time for those things to be taken away from us, we all have the tendency to hold on to them for a little bit longer, as we would want it. A similar feeling pervades the atmosphere of “House As We Knew It: Life of Unending Memories” by Vasvi Tiwari. With this feeling, the book is more of a heartwarming and emotionally charged novel that delves into the complex relationships within an unconventional Brahmin family and their ancestral home, “Sukh-Sadan.” Tiwari’s book takes readers on a poignant journey through the past and present of Samriddhi, the central character, as she grapples with the impending sale of her beloved family house.

From the very beginning, the author successfully establishes the house as a tangible entity, infusing it with life and personality that will resonate with anyone who has ever had a deep connection to a family home. The meaning a house or a home can have for a person on the inside and outside resonate throughout the narrative as the house rises to the entity of a character who is responsible for the good and bad moments that characters have in their time inside it. Samriddhi, the protagonist, is a multi-faceted character who carries the weight of her family’s history and traditions on her shoulders. Her emotional attachment to Sukh-Sadan is palpable, and as readers, we are immediately drawn into her world of nostalgia and treasured memories. Throughout the novel, Samriddhi’s struggle to come to terms with the house’s impending sale is a poignant and relatable journey for anyone who has had to bid farewell to a cherished place.

One of the most compelling aspects of “House As We Knew It” is the author’s ability to create a vibrant and multifaceted ensemble cast. The Brahmin family members are a delightful mix of eccentric personalities, and the author skillfully explores the dynamics between them. Each character is meticulously crafted, and their quirks and idiosyncrasies add depth and humor to the narrative. But every character successfully establishes the significance that Sukh Sadan has in their lives.

The story may not directly hint to moments of nostalgia or the desire to go back in the past, but it surely makes the readers feel connected to Sukh Sadan to the extent that they feel it to be their own too. The pacing of the narrative is well-executed, with a steady rhythm that keeps readers engaged throughout. As Samriddhi’s journey unfolds, the reader is treated to a series of revelations, both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. The narrative unfolds like a tapestry, weaving together the threads of the family’s history, the house’s significance, and Samriddhi’s own personal growth.

At its core, “House As We Knew It” is a story about change and the inevitability of it. The novel beautifully explores the theme of letting go and the emotional toll it can take on individuals and families. As Samriddhi grapples with the decision to sell Sukh Sadan, readers are reminded of the bittersweet nature of life and the necessity of adapting to new circumstances. The author’s writing style is both lyrical and evocative, with a keen eye for detail that brings the setting and characters to life. The small town in which the story is set becomes a character of its own, with its traditions, gossip, and quirks playing a significant role in the narrative. The author’s ability to capture the essence of this town adds depth to the story and serves as a backdrop to the family’s journey.

While “House As We Knew It” is primarily a family novel, it also delves into larger themes such as identity, tradition, and the passage of time. The novel prompts readers to reflect on their own connections to their roots and the significance of the places and memories that shape their lives. At the same time, the sense of clinging to tradition and the things that symbolise it are the central points of the novel. Since India has always been a country that follows traditions and connects people from the heart, Tiwari’s novel would find ample resonance and recommendations.

“House As We Knew It: Life of Unending Memories” is a beautifully written and emotionally resonant novel that explores the intricate tapestry of family, tradition, and the places we call home. Through Samriddhi’s journey, readers are reminded of the power of memories and the importance of embracing change, even when it means saying goodbye to something deeply cherished. This book is a testament to the enduring bonds that connect us to our past and the unending memories that shape our futures. It is a poignant and heartfelt tale that will stay with readers long after the final page is turned.

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