CTRL F: Quest for the Concealed Book Review | Karthick N | The Literature TodayJuly 26, 2020
Parenting is one of the toughest, critical and most challenging responsibility in the life of a person. Becoming a parent means nurturing and taking care of a life who knows nothing and does not understand anything. In his book, “Quest for the Concealed” through the medium of fiction writing, the author Karthick N focusses on the issue of parenting and the impact that it has on a child’s life. He specifically focusses on an adolescent’s life and how important parenting is then.
The author takes up a unique style to unveil the narrative as it is told by the 3 protagonists of the story, Prakash, Priya and Parthiban who try to explain their own versions of how things happened. This kind of sounds like a modern, recreated and improved version of the epistolary form of literary writing created by Samuel Richardson.
Slow and steady, the author develops the plot through the words of the 3 characters and only with the plot progress the readers realize that the book is more about the death Priya’s daughter, Aarushi and the attempt to discover the reasons behind it. The death is caused under mysterious circumstances and through the first-person narrative technique, the author involves the readers to the extent that they also try to read between the lines and try to understand the reason behind Aarushi’s death. The book opens in shocking circumstances and readers hardly understand the reason of why things are happening and only later things begin to make sense.
The author cleverly keeps the readers on their toes till the end and keeps them involved in the quest to find what has been concealed throughout. This very quest is what forms the central idea of the novel and keeps the readers in confusion until the end as to who the real culprit would be.
“Quest for the Concealed” is one novel that every parent should read to understand how critical the adolescent stage is in the lives of children. Even if they have been through the same, the generation gap and the technological boom of the present day kind of blinds them towards the needs to their growing children and this is what causes distancing from their children on an emotional level.
Through the first-person narratives of the three characters, the author successfully establishes them as strong, realistic and close to life personalities and the readers begin to understand and reciprocate like they were live people. Only once the readers get to hear the voice of the judge briefly and Aarushi herself. They all come from different walks of life which allow the author to develop them and also explore other themes like that of a single mother and her struggles, men and women in the society, corporate life, conditions of the third gender, the society’s attitude towards convicts, etc. Also, at the same time, the author makes a fine display of his knowledge in different fields and disciplines whether it is science or psychology or character portrayal through another character.
The language that the author takes up is also finely written and polished for every reader to understand. Although at some places he does tend to become more theoretical which perhaps the readers of the concerned field can understand better. But that is also the necessity of the narrative or else the plot would remain incomplete.
The speed of the story unfolding is also finely done by the author. Nowhere does the reader get bored or lose track of the developing plot. The author makes sure to give the necessary turns wherever needed.
One other interesting technique that the author uses is that of short and crisp sentences. A very rare technique, or perhaps used by the author of the first time, he uses this technique throughout and this helps him be very clear and to the point avoiding unnecessary detail or diversion. Readers who have a little less patience may find “Quest for the Concealed” appealing in the light of this technique.
The purpose of the book, as the author states in the beginning, is to open the eyes of the readers (assuming them to be a parent) and to educate their children and talk to them about the changes puberty brings in them. This in itself is a very critical subject and hardly anything has been written on this. But, other than getting a glimpse of the central subject, the reader is likely to find sharp, realistic and well-detailed characters who tell about themselves through their words, the author’s voice hardly being anywhere, the complexities and challenges life can throw at anyone, a good psychological analysis of things with rational, scientific explanation and a finely written plot. This opens the book to read for teenagers and goes up to be read by parents and grandparents too.