Book Review: The Lovers and the Leavers by Abeer Y Hoque

While I do love my romantic novels, I have to admit lately whatever I have been reading has been almost cliched stories with predictable ends but the streak of reading disappointing romance themed books ended with The Lovers and the Leavers by Abeer Y. Hoque. The title does scream romance and yes the book is all about love but it is not a romantic novel, instead it is a series of short stories that come together in the end.


The book is a web of characters. It starts with the story of a maid who lost her first husband, then her daughter, had a sister who had been a victim human trafficking  and is struggling with her position of being the second wife to man she loves alot. Then there is the story of her employer’s divorced friend Nita who is moving back to Bangladesh with her daughter Ila. This story followed by the story of Ila and her friend Rox. We even a get a little insight into the life of Rox and her friend Raza. A few more stories follow these stories and all of them about this crazy mix of personalities connected to each other.

I found The Lovers and the Leavers an amazing read for a lot of reasons. The narration and format of the book is one of its biggest strengths. Each story begins is introduced with a prose or by using poetry. most of the stories are open-ended so you are just left with the anticipation and excitement of meeting these characters in maybe some other part of the book. The narration of the story is so natural, simple and for the lack of a better word ordinary yet special in its own way that it just instantly connects you to the characters.

As I mentioned, the book is about love but it is about different shades of love. Love doesn’t always have to be romance and the author has tried to prove the same with all the short stories. The book is all about the complexity of relationships, the complexity of emotions and love in general. Nothing is black and white in the book and that is something I rarely see in books these days.

The best thing about the book is that every time you read it, you come out with a different interpretation. It is like remembering an incident or an event in your life where you feel different emotions depending on the time when you are thinking about it. To capture such a feeling in words is commendable and I would definitely keep an eye out for the author’s work in the future.