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The Secret Wishlist by Preeti Shenoy


Have you ever been banished from your parents' good books because of a secret kiss when you were just sixteen?

Did you spend nearly all your life trying to win back the trust and approval of your parents for that one mistake you made?

Have you regretted your marriage that your parents rushed you into and you agreed out of sheer guilt? 

Have you ever made a secret wishlist with something like "have sex with someone other than husband" on it? 

Yes or no, don't miss reading Preeti Shenoy's recently released novel titled 'The Secret Wishlist.' 




From page one, you are bound to get pulled into Diksha's loveless marriage, her constant adjustments to Sandeep, a husband who expects everything to be done to suit his preference at all times and her need to feel valued as a person. There are so many instances when you would simply grit your teeth and wish that her boor of a husband would do something, anything, to just appreciate his wife. But no, that doesn't happen.  

While reading this, I thought of another book that I had read titled 'The One and a Half Wife' by Meghna Pant about an Indian girl whose parents arranged her marriage to a rich and handsome NRI but he is constantly judging her and finding fault with her than appreciating her and yes, they end up divorcing. 

The protagonist Diksha in 'The Secret Wishlist'  goes through and how she finds her character becoming more defined and sharpened when she makes the choices for her own happiness. I was also reminded of 'Custody' by Manju Kapurwhen Diksha meets Abhay her old school crush and they begin to meet secretly. (Correction from a reader called @Anonymous: It is not Abhay, it is Ankit whom Diksha meets secret....) A big thanks to Anonymous for pointing this out.  

I liked the character of Vibha who helps Diksha to put together a wishlist. But the same Vibha  distances herself from Diksha when she finds out about her leaving her husband for Ankit, her old school crush. Hard, tough questions are bound to come up in a society that is conservative about other people's choices, particularly that of married women. But once Diksha makes up her mind, she steels herself to face what lies ahead, even the reproach and anger of her parents and brother. 
   
There are some aspects of the story where as a reader, I wished to know more about. 

For instance, while Diksha and her husband are obviously locked in a loveless marriage, it would have been good to know his side of the story too. I wanted to know more on how Diksha's husband perceives her or what is his back story for the way he behaves to her, something on those lines.

Just as a coin has two sides, every character has a good and bad side. Diksha does try to communicate with her husband but I felt that she gives up too easily on him. Or is that she fears to confront him? Ultimately, the marriage breakdown is also because the couple did not communicate to each other clearly enough.  

Abhay's feelings about his mother's relationship with Ankit is another aspect of the story that would have been interesting to know about in greater detail. 

Secretly, I had liked the character of Gaurav, the salsa teacher, so much that I had hoped that Gaurav and Diksha would fall in love with each other and make a life together. They seemed to have 'chemistry' sizzling right from the time they meet. So it feels slightly like an anti-climax that it is Ankit who boomerangs back into Diksha's life again and somehow Ankit's character at the beginning wasn't one that you'd feel impressed with as a reader but then there is the issue of age - he was probably playing his age at the time. Gaurav, on the other hand, seemed to be perfect hero material for Diksha.

 In her writing, Preeti Shenoy deftly grasps a reader's need to be encouraged to live, to love and to be of significant value in the lives of loved ones.

Liked this book review? Then check out these too:
♥♥  I thank you with all my heart for reading my post. I dedicate this post with love and gratitude to all those who enjoy reading books by Indian writers. REQUEST: Please SHARE this article on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet makes me reach out to more people who love reading books by Indian writers. I am grateful and I appreciate you for doing so. ♥♥
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