A tranquil and stable life of Shruti falls apart after she is brutally raped by politician-cum-goon, Salim Yadav. In order to find justice for herself and other rape victims, she accepts the offer of oppositionist politician Sharad Malviya, and enters politics. Soon she finds herself in the world led and manipulated by men.
I truly admire Tuhin Sinha for touching issue of unpunishable rapes in India. Shruti symbolizes every woman who was raped and could not find justice. It always works the same way. It is not criminal who needs to defend himself, it is raped woman who must to prove to the whole world that she did not provoke the rape. In other words, that she did not ask for it. Rapist walks fee and proud of himself while woman remains stigmatized for the rest of her life. There is also a problem with family’s attitude to raped women. Parents of Shruti are good example. Instead of supporting and helping their daughter to recover, they told her to forget about everything as soon as possible and come back to normal life. Take into consideration that her family was perceived as modern and progressive one.
The books shows the world led and manipulated by men. She did enter politics because Sharad Malviya convinced her to do this. He did chose the way for her and she followed him. Although Shritu thought about herself as strong woman, she allowed him to direct her. Sometimes people are able to sacrifice themselves in the name of love…
It should be highly appreciated that male author tries to write about women’s suffering and struggle. Writing from the perspective of woman, about her traumatic experience and feelings accompanied it is extremely hard task.
While I truly appreciate the whole idea and message the author sends, I need to point out some flaws of the book. The Edge of Desire is written like a report rather than a novel. The author passes too quickly from one event to another. For example, I would expect to read more about Shruti’s recovery but the author jumps from rape to elections. Of course, this fast pace makes book very readable and if somebody has reading slump this book might help to get over it. Nevertheless, the book lacks of depth. I would like to see more insightful analysis of the situations and feelings, transition from one event to another.
The book explains a lot about Indian politics and traditions but again, it lacks focus on what Shruti accomplished as a politician. What about her believes and visions for her country? The only ‘moment of Shruti’ was the introduction speech in Parliament in which she talked about pervasive rapes and blame that society puts on women. I think that examples of her tasks and achievements would make the story more convincing.
I got impression that author wrote this book is a hurry. Maybe this is because of Tuhin Sinha is a journalist and he is not experienced novel writer yet. There is a huge difference between writing article for a newspaper and writing a novel. If he wants to become respected author he needs to master his writing skills.
The Edge of Desire…I think the tittle is unfitting and misleading; I do not see any connection between the tittle and the content. The book is worth reading and should not be judged by its tittle.