Author: Lavanya Sankaran
Total pages: 350
Total approximate words: 1,19,000
The plot has two protagonists, Anand, a family man and a factory owner, and one of his housemaids, Kamala. Both their stories are narrated simultaneously while bringing the other characters like a bridge between their stories. Anand, a hardworking man, at times gets caught up in the unnecessary complexities that his marriage of fifteen years brought with it. His efforts in expanding his factory were no cakewalk either, because of the local political goon and the corrupt bureaucracy. Kamala, the housemaid, is honest, and hardworking too whose life revolved around her twelve years old son who she raised all by herself right from his birth. Her initial days in the city as a construction site labor were the worst of all, and she was grateful to her fate for finally having a job as secured as a housemaid. Kamala’s son Narayan was an obedient mamma’s boy, and helped her in all possible ways. One of those times were when Narayan fixed a broken table lamp all by himself at Anand’s place, he is pleasantly impressed by the young boy’s intelligence and decides to sponsor his education in a good private school. The story ends, with Kamala being fired by Anand’s wife who was known to be temperamental with the housemaids. Kamala however finds a job just next door, and Anand continues to support her son’s education while he handles the political goon and succeeds in expanding his factory despite all the hurdles that came along.
Did I like the book?
The characters seem so mundane, yet their individual stories were so vivid. The story weaved around two different sections of the society, while showcasing the good, and bad at the backdrop, is heart-warming to read. The narration is paced just right, in the perfect mid-point of fast and slow. The writing is mature and relaxed. The novel is a perfect example of how simple elements from ordinary lives could be put together to make an extraordinary piece of storytelling. The plot doesn’t incline towards one specific genre, but instead takes a handful of this and that, and makes it into one wholesome story filled with a bit of realism, a bit of fantasy, a pinch of romance, and a tinge of suspense. It is one of the best books that I have read so far! 10/10 for THE HOPE FACTORY.