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Under the mango tree by Bina Pillai : Book Review

Updated: May 22, 2020

Reading this book, Under the Mango Tree by Bina Pillai, has been the most unique reading experience of my life. I have never ever discussed the book with any author while reading it before. But for this book, I got this opportunity. All thanks to Instagram!

Under the Mango Tree narrates the story of the protagonist, Diya Nair - an extremely talented girl, well-mannered and beautiful girl who gets married to Rajgopal at the age of eighteen, that too against her wish. Her mother forces her to part ways with her boyfriend, Aditya, to get married to a man who is ten years older than her. Consequently, Diya ends up in an abusive marriage where she is restricted financially, emotionally and even with her education. Years pass and the abuse continues, but she cannot leave her husband because of her two children. She surely comes out of this situation, but the way she comes out is the real beauty of this book.

The book is based on the real life with the little hints of fiction to it.I don’t want to add further to the story because I may end up giving out some spoilers.

As far as language of the book is concerned, it is pretty lucid and anyone with limited vocabulary can understand it. The plot is amazing and the message is clear. The title of the book is well justified and there’s a little twist in the ending. If you are a Keralite, you will enjoy some Malayalam words in the book. Overall, I would say, this is the story of love, determination and hope.

I recommend this book to everyone. Because this story isn’t about one woman. This is the story where various relations, incidents, disorders and decisions are involved. It’s an interesting read. Kudos to the author.

My Takeaways: As always, these are my personal learnings and I don't want to force these on anyone.

While reading this book, I was emotionally shocked in the beginning. Abuse is something I have never experienced in my life. I have every right and privilege to make my life choices. Therefore, the abuse part of this book was a little toxic for me. But, it did make me realise one thing that the privilege I hold, is not available to many. Reading about it alone shook my head, I just can’t imagine anyone going through it.

Another thing that I realised while reading this book is, relationships aren’t always disturbed by ego or the lack of adjustment. Sometimes, there’s a little play of personality disorder. So, give it a thought. Talk it out.

It’s been more than a month since I have involved myself in lots of reading.I have been reading a lot about women and Indian society and the one thing that I have learnt is: No matter from what era the story is, or if the woman's queen or a beggar, irrespective of the level of her education, she is bound to suffer somehow. If there's someone who can save her from this is herself. Taking a stand may or may not be possible every time, ( Let’s be practical here), but if you give up, then there’s no way out.

Here's a little piece of advice:

NEVER ever give up your education and financial independence for anyone, I repeat, never!

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