Book Review – The Secret Trove: The sequel to “A Ride With The River Man” by S Pavithra Ram Is being featured at The Literature Today Magazine Vol 2, Issue 3

The Secret Trove is an intriguing, lovable family drama that revolves around a close-knit Tamil Brahmin family living in Mumbai. This captivating story tells the tale of the trials and tribulations the family goes through. The author has crafted the characters meticulously, carefully breathing life in each of them. Interestingly, even the supporting characters are well thought out and stand their ground.

The dynamic interplay of the relationships forms the CenterStage of the story. The characters’ pride in their culture and spirituality imparts strength to it. The thoughtful mention of the Carnatic songs, and sometimes the use of old Hindi songs build a strong ground for the story to play out. In fact, this is something that is unique to this book, every song mentioned has been used to impart a profound meaning to the situation, depicts the essence of the relationships between the characters, and personify the myriad human emotions displayed effectively through brilliant writing by the author. This aspect of the book stands out and draws the reader to the characters and story until the reader becomes a part of the story, witnessing it unfold from close quarters. It is rare to find such a brilliant concept beautifully implemented through conscientious writing.

 The author has portrayed life in the characters such that they compel the reader to delve deeper into the story and experience the dilemmas, joy, pain, and happiness, of the characters as if they were their own. The main protagonist Hari, is effervescent, young, and shoulders the responsibility of taking care of the family business efficiently. A tender-hearted human who cannot bear to see another human in pain, his charm is endearing, and the reader cannot help but be captivated by this intriguing character. On the other hand, his wife Ananya, a passionate singer, has an almost infectious zest for life. Her insecurities, anger, pain, and endless love for her husband, the strength of her character adds spice to the story.

With a steely resolve, Hari holds the family together while nurturing the talents and hidden dreams of those around him. His kind words, wisdom, child-like demeanor, compassionate ways, love for music, his unparalleled wit takes the story to a different level altogether. The strength of his character is on full display as he braves the blows that life brings his way yet he chooses to move on with grace each time. The tests that life puts him through don’t embitter him until he faces that which shakes him completely. Will he emerge triumphant? The story goes further ahead and engages the reader to explore the journey ahead.

The undercurrent of romance between Hari and Ananya, their strong pull toward each other, the insecurities of Ananya, and their endearing fights are sure to keep the readers on bated breath. His love for his mother is captured by the author such that words fall short to describe their relationship. There is a scene where on one hand Hari loses someone who he holds close to his heart while on the other a beautiful small human is born. As he bonds with his daughter by singing Kabir’s song which roughly translates to “Please take me as your slave, as I stand at your door in servitude”, his heart is full of love for the little one, gratitude for his wife and yet a part of him is aching for the person he will see no more. The book has many beautiful, relatable, heart-warming, heart-wrenching moments that will tug the reader’s heart.

The women characters Ananya, Prema, and Vidya are the epitome of women empowerment, having a strong mind of their own, setting boundaries, not afraid to express themselves putting their foot down when needed. The author’s deeply spiritual mindset is evident through these characters, how they forego everything to build their family yet not once lose their identity or individuality.

This book is a must-read, packed with interesting twists and turns, the plot of the story holds the imagination of the reader, sprinkled with wisdom and loaded with well-thought-out situations and circumstances that are sure to enthrall and captivate the reader. The character of Hari is so well crafted that he stays with you long after the book ends.

The book title personifies this very central character of the story. Hari whose emotions, good intentions, deeds, and the love he feels towards all – flows like a river, unending and selfless. Yet he carries a huge trove of secrets within his heart ensuring they never affect anyone or any relations. There could not have been a more apt title for a book that is a celebration of love and life, friendships, and romance, and is packed with action including kidnaps and raids and a whole lot more. You have to read the book to believe the author’s complete hold and power to weave a story so intricate. A book that can be read across all generations, one that certainly should not be missed.

The language used in the book is easy to comprehend and follow. Moreover, the use of excellent language makes this book seem like classic literature. The credit for this is due to the author. The author has used an engaging narration style, which intrigues and involves the reader in the story. The characters and the story compel the reader to keep reading to find out what happens next, the book is certainly a page-turner, unputdownable.

S Pavithra Ram

About The Author: The author S Pavithra Ram is a Chartered Accountant based in Chennai. She was raised in a traditional Tamil Brahmin family, she was encouraged into learning and explore Hindu scriptures from a very early age, listening to the discourses of her Guru from the age of 4. This led to her developing a strong sense of spirituality and developed her love for the culture that grew with age into a deep-rooted fascination with the scriptures and their universal appeal. This aspect of the author is reflective in the story and adds character to it. An avid reader of English literature, classics, and novels, a habit that fostered in her an admiration for the language and a knack for penning her thoughts. The author brought out her first book, A Ride with the River Man, a tryst of a kind, that gave vent to her spiritual beliefs woven around an endearing tale, a family drama. The present book is an enriching read and certainly for keeps. A book that is sure to find its place on a book collector’s shelf and heart.

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