- Title – Mistress of Honour
- Author – Bhaavna Arora
- Publisher – Penguin Books
- Genre – Fiction
- Pages – 192
- Price – INR 199
- ISBN – 978-0-143-42528-1
Synopsis – A tale about passionate love and finding your soul mate, only to realize you will always come a close second.
When Potnis, a captain in the Indian Army, meets Pansy during Operation Blue Star, he knows he has found the love of his life. Their passionate romance leads them to the altar and blossoms into a beautiful child, Rihana.
History repeats itself when Advik, a wayward boy from a broken family, catapults into Rihana’s heart as smoothly as he conquers the skies as an Indian Air Force pilot. What follows is a night of unabashed love, transporting the couple to heavenly bliss. Where will their unbridled love lead them? Will Rihana remain a mistress to Advik, for whom the love for his country comes first, or will she be able to make a place in his heart that is second to none? This heartbreaking saga of love, courage and sacrifice will leave you asking for more.
Review – Mistress of Honour has a colourful cover with a woman’s silhouette portraying the spectrum of emotions beautifully. The cover does full justice to the plot and the title. The book has a well-thought, apt title, whose significance comes to fore only in the climax of the book.
The book begins with an introduction of the life of a brave captain in the Indian Army, Potnis. The book gradually introduces the reader to the dedication of a soldier towards his duty and how his family stands strong even in the toughest of times supporting the brave soldiers’ morale while praying for their well-being.
The beauty of the story lies in rational, open-minded thinking by all characters at every situation in life. Though, there have been moments of weakness, but the well-defined characters have been bestowed liberty to lead their lives with immense self-respect and integrity. This particularly holds true in the wonderful way the author has evolved the female characters in the story across three generations.
” Unlike other wives, she had to stand by her husband for a cause bigger than pretty disgruntlement or domestic disputes. An army wife quickly realizes that her husband’s duty is first to the country, and only afterwards to her.”
The yarn of love and patriotism that’s been knitted in the backdrop of Indian Army, helps the reader get a clearer picture of the lives of soldiers right from the time of their admission in NDA. Picturesque narration of the rigorous training they undergo and the difficulties they face in their careers both during war-time and at peace, often gifts goosebumps to the reader. I wish to congratulate the author on covering many key operations of the Indian Army (Operation Blue Star, Fighting militants in Assam, Helping restore peace in Sri Lanka and also the Kargil war) in a soul-stirring connection to the plot.
The language is simple and narration lucid with careful editing guiding the smooth flow of the story in this unputdownable read.
” Do you want to create history or be history? Think about it. Jump! Just Jump! You’re being groomed for war, and remember: there are no runners-up there.”
The book has a predictable ending with the protagonist, Potnis losing importance abruptly towards the last third of the book. At many points I felt the children in the plot were wielded with unusual maturity at their tender age. Students of class tenth and twelfth have been projected to deliver motivational lessons which can be seldom realized with the promptness (shown in the plot) by impressionable, young minds of the age Rihana, Advik & Kabir have been shown.
Towards the final third of the book, the plot took over a typical Bollywood movie turn, ending in a hasty attempt to put the dots together. The book would have gained immensely by taking care to describe the scenes in-depth, reducing the number of twists in the plot which at times come across as forced. Incorporation of a few dialogues in the story would have helped season this emotional read. Interaction between the characters in the plot would have been impressive had the narration alone not been burdened to communicate, all that was going on in their lives and minds.
I particularly found the incident involving Rahim (not sharing details to avoid spoilers) come across as not helping the plot much.
Nevertheless, the book beautifully shares an insight into the hardships, commitment and dedication of Indian soldiers while celebrating the strong women who stand by the men on duty. I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a breezy read of stories inspired by real life heroes connected wonderfully in the backdrop of Indian Army.
About the Author – Dr. Bhavna Arora is a new-generation writer who is an avid learner from life. She is a young enthusiast who has two MBA degrees and a Doctorate from Pittsford University in Leadership to her credit. She also works closely with an institute for special children.
Rating – 3/5