Boats on Land: Book Review

Hey Ladies,
My first book was a collection of short stories by Ruskin Bond and ever since I have loved short stories. I always feel that to write a short story is much more challenging the writing a whole novel for the simple reason that you have to build the character, narrate the whole situation and form a bond with your reader in those 4-5 pages. So today I am reviewing Janice Pariat’s Boats on Land- it is a collection of 15 short stories all based on the north eastern region of our country.

The first thing I want to talk about the book is definitely
the cover. It is beautiful and in a way very peaceful to look at and completely
catches the whole essence of the book.
Moving on to the stories, the stories have been placed
together in the book in a manner  that
even though you are reading short stories, all the stories seem connected
giving a certain flow to the reading. Each story talks about Shillong and other
areas of north east during different time periods beginning from the 1850’s to the
present time. The stories talk about British soldiers overlooking tea
plantations and how they are driven away by magic, a doctor and his patient who
dreams about fire birds, a girl and her friends looking for a secret passage in
school, a hunter killing a shape shifting tiger,   the
difference between the Khasis and the Dkhars, a tailor and his kite, coming
back home,two teenaged girls with different lives and their friendship and many
other things. Each of these stories touch the emotions behind relationships,  struggles, those perfect moments of happiness,
those fights with loved ones, insecurities, aggression, opposition and even
death.
The writing style is somewhat poetic and lyrical. Janice has
effortlessly woven together facts with superstitions, myths and even philosophies
while maintaining the pace of each story while highlights how to the outsider
view the Northeast is a generic term and how unaware most of the people are of
the struggles, the lives, the beliefs and the identity as individuals of the
people of this region.
I can say a lot more good things about the book but to be
brief Boat on Land is a refreshing read and I would suggest you to grab a copy.
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  • Aparajita

    Ya its a great book Neha….you should definitely get a copy

  • Neha

    I was actually thinking of reading some short stories… This one seems good… 🙂