Menoka Has Hanged Herself – Book Review

Author – Sharmistha Gooptu

Genre – Suspense/Fiction

Publisher – Simon and Schuster India

Year – 2019

Ratings – ⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis

On the New Year Eve of 1937 Menoka the heroine of Bharat Talkies has hanged herself in the studio. Ramola the star of the Bharat Talkies does not feel good about this news but she can’t help it because all this matters are handled by her husband and the owner of Bharat Talkies, Shankar.

Ramola comes from a highly respected and educated family. She well maybe the first educated women in this industry. Raju comes from the family where you are only loyal to your survival.

Both women from different parts of the world are thrown into Bharat Talkies together. Whether they will support each other despite of their indifferences or will one of them even sacrifice her life for this unforgivable industry?

Review

I really like the setup and the era which this book create. It is setup in 1937 and you can feel the essence of those days in the writing. I love the portrayal of Bioscope pictures in this book.

Bioscope pictures which is the central theme of the book and how just the death of one person in this industry affects all others is really fascinating to read. How the industry works in those days, the status of women in those pictures, what society thinks of the people working in that industry is really fascinating to read.

The book is very descriptive in nature. I think it was necessary to make you feel those vintage years in the writing but at the same time it lengthens the book. This make the whole book very very slow paced.

There is no chapter break in the book. It just continuously flows from one POV to another. I think maybe breaking it into chapter wise would be much better.

There is no suspense or surprise element in the book. It just continues on the same graph with no twist or turns whatsoever. Even there is no explanation of why sudden things are happening in the book especially at the end.

Language is slightly complicated being English mixing with Bengali and even some terms of those times which I could not understand. There are some very creepy and bone chilling scenes in the book so if you are a sensitive reader heads up for that.

If you like slow pace and very descriptive books you can definitely give this a try. But I guess for me some parts just didn’t work at all.

Thank you Simon and Schuster India for the review copy.

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