Daijiworld Media Network - London/Mangalore
London/Mangalore, Jul 1: You may be a Mangalorean living in any part of the world, but just a glance at the cover of 'Monsoon Memories' is bound to bring you back to your native land, at least in thought. Renita D'Silva's debut novel is a beautiful journey of discovery, a journey that weaves together a world as seen by a child with a narrative that is refreshingly reminiscent of a charming land called India.
Born and brought up amidst the picturesque landscape of Kallianpur, Renita moved to the UK in the year 2000 after her marriage, armed with a bachelor's degree in engineering. An avid reader since childhood, her love for books was kindled by her father who supplied her with a plethora of storybooks, and what evolved over the years was a storyteller whose first full-length novel narrates a fascinating tale.
Her stories have been published or are forthcoming in ‘The View from Here’, ‘Bartleby Snopes’, ‘this’ zine, ‘Platinum Page’, ‘Paragraph Planet’ among others and have been nominated for the ‘Pushcart’ prize and the ‘Best of the Net’ anthology.
Her debut novel, ‘Monsoon Memories’ was published by Bookouture in the third week of June. The novel tells the story of Shirin, who has been exiled from her family in India and settled in London. Recollections of her childhood stir in her a yearning to return, but memories of secrets and scandals that forced her to flee from India stifle her.
Back in Mangalore, Shirin's niece discovers a lost photograph, from where begins the 11-year-old's journey of discovery, during which untold secrets and painful trauma unfold before the reader.
Walter Nandalike of Daijiworld with author Renita and her daughter in London during an event
Says Renita, "When I started writing Monsoon Memories, I wanted, first and foremost, to tell a story. It was to be a story about us humans and our failings, about how we try to do our best but fail so miserably. That’s not to say it isn’t a hopeful book, it is. Monsoon Memories is set in an India I know intimately... I wanted to set the story among the Christians (in India)."
Talking of the evolution of the book in an interview she says, "The book began as a picture in my head: Two sisters sheltering on a veranda, gossiping over hot tumblers of cardamom tea, cozy and dry, while the rain drums on the tiles and whips the mud into slush...But then Reena (the child character) clamored for attention- a little girl on the cusp of adolescence who fancies herself detective...What if she found something, the mystery she’s always wanted?"
Her most unforgettable moment, she says, came when Bookouture agreed to publish her book. "When I opened my email and saw the message from Bookouture, ‘We want to publish your book,’ I was terrified. I had been waiting for this for so long. I had imagined so many things, but I did not imagine the reaction I actually had. I kept on evoking God and jumping around the house, unable to be still," she says in her website.
The publishers too wax eloquent about the book: "Every once in a while, a book comes along that absolutely stuns you...Monsoon Memories by Renita D’Silva is one such book. We received a manuscript that immediately melted away the English winter frost and effortlessly transported us to India. We were mesmerised by the quality of the writing and captivated by the story that unfolded...With shades of Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and storytelling reminiscent of Jodi Picoult we knew we had discovered an author with an incredible talent."
Renita is already working on her second novel, also set in India. The book is expected to be out next year, part of the three-book contract she has signed with Bookouture.
Monsoon Memories buy links :
The Book Depository- this delivers free to anywhere in the world.