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  • Sheen Johns

Book Review: The Rule Breakers by Preeti Shenoy


'Remember, we are teaching them to fly. So do not be their crutch. Be their wings.'


Book Title : The Rule Breakers

Author : Preeti Shenoy

Genre : Fiction

Publisher : Westland Publications




Studious, smart and sincere, Veda harbours big dreams for the future. But when her parents arrange a marriage for her, the twenty year old discovers that she has no say in the matter.

Forced to leave behind an idyllic life in the hill town of Joshimath - filled with conversation and pleasurable times with her siblings, and her best friend, the handsome Suraj - she puts aside her ambitions and moves into a flat in pune with an indifferent husband and a mother in law from hell.

Though brought up to be quiet and obedient, Veda chafes at the meaninglessness of her existence and struggles to cope with the unexpected loneliness she is engulfed in. Then, amidst the dark clouds of stagnation and despondency, Veda carves out the unlikeliest of silver linings.

How does she do this? By breaking the rules? Or by following them?


Like in most of her books Preeti Shenoy tells the story of a woman who decides to step up and tries to turn her life around for good. This book tells the story of Veda, a girl from a conservative indian family who is good in studies and wants to be a professor some day. But family pressure forces her to be married at a young age that leads her to struggle with her studies and the new life as a wife and daughter in law stuck in an unhappy marriage.This book is a simple read and can inspire us to go for our dreams even when they seem distant and impossible. The author has some incredible quotes hidden in the lines of this story. One other heart warming thing is the handwritten letters exchanged between Veda and her sister and also Suraj her best friend from Joshimath, her home.

But for me, this novel lacks the essence that Preeti Shenoy's writings usually offer. The character of a physically abusing mother in law seemed like a scene right out of an Indian soap ( serial). Some instances in the book were too dramatic and bollywood style. The story is not completely unpredictable nor is it a page turner. This story was too plain for my reading preferences.

For a lover of contemporary indian fiction, especially female readers may resonate with the storyline. It shows the beautiful transformation of an ambitious yet obedient village girl of the hills to a smart, self reliant woman in the city. Overall I would say this book is only a one time read.

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