Julia Dutta presents a collection of short stories in a self-published format on Amazon. 17 stories are set roughly around the theme of intimate human relationships – mostly the unspoken ones. Julia talks about relationships where sometimes one person forces it on another person. Or exist as a means of exploitation. She also talks about relationships that the society does not readily accept. And hence the families – like same-sex relationships. She talks about relationships that happen on the sidelines of life.
Quite a few stories of Julia Dutta focus on the lesbian relationships. I think somewhere author is trying to capture the reaction of families and society when they discover for the first time. And how they finally accept such relationships. Sometimes, it is just by reading a book one realizes, that life is not too simple. It can be stranger than fiction.
The story I liked best was the one where a daughter takes revenge on her mother for being unfaithful to her father – there is suspense, drama, emotion, and story in this story. It also highlights a not so often talked about “strained” relationship between mothers and daughters. Then the story where a sister-in-law sexually exploits another and plays games with both the brother and the sister. It is sad but makes a point. It also puts light on many similar potential stories hidden in many of our homes. The relationship between servants and young girls is that remains unspoken many times.
In most other stories, storytelling is simple. And sometimes the stories too plain – as if coming out straight from the first-hand experience. But with all the creases ironed out. Sometimes, I missed the point in the story. Sometimes, it felt like a fading memory that has been captured. Some stories run into many chapters while others are a single episode. I think a bit of tight editing could have made stories more readable.
Having said that it is a good attempt for a debut book by the author Julia Dutta.
Take your Call.