Author– Hureen Saghar Gandhi
Book– Page 6 and Beyond
Previous Works– Debut Novel
Publishers– Notion press
Number of Pages– 256
In modern day America, amidst the contentious presidential election campaign of November 2016, immigrant author Hureen Saghar Gandhi finds that humor is the only way to keep her family and her friends’ spirits high. Living a fast and furious life in Northern Virginia, surrounded by quirky characters, she decides she has no choice but to weave them into her satirical anecdotes in her book: Page 6 and Beyond. This book will have you laughing out loud as she embarks on a spy mission to: bond with long-lost childhood school friends on a sensational WhatsApp column; fulfill her bucket lists; relive her misadventures in the Nordic region; and supply readers with extraordinary stories of her friends living in different continents.
Page 6 and Beyond, by Hureen Saghar Gandhi, is a rather unusual sort of book, featuring a WhatsApp gossip group.
The author, Hureen Saghar Gandhi, meets up with a few of her friends on a lazy weekend and their non-stop chats and gossips, sows the idea of a WhatsApp group where they can share their stories and the stories of their former classmates, with whom they have lost contact, because of busy schedules and adulting.
I had read the blurb before reading the book, and it seemed like the book would be all about the WhatsApp group, but in reality, the group was just the highlight, and there is so much more in the book.
The author stirs the pot with her stories from her life and spices it up with her quirky way of writing.
The book is not just with a few jokes or something, but it’s like the set of a rom-com, where the funny parts go with the flow and become funnier. I was a bit bored at first, because I certainly did not find the WhatsApp group stories, to be of much interest. As the book progresses, the author started sharing stories about her life and they surely made me laugh out loud. Apart from being funny, they are very relatable as most of us would have witnessed such events at least once in our lives, be it overbearing neighbors or those family functions where being around elders came with the gift of backache. What makes the book worth a read, is the writing. The author has an eye for humor and we get to read how beautifully she has incorporated fun, into the mundane things of her life. Her approach to life itself is a ten. She even finds humor at the undesirable situations and provides us with the scoop.
Another aspect of the book that I liked a lot, were those sketches marking the start of each chapter. They were cleverly made to relate to the content of the chapter, were funny at the first glance and had a deeper meaning when tried to decode.
The book sports the picture of a tea pot, with emojis emerging from it, giving a tad bit of attention to the inability of the author to fathom the depth of emoticons.
Cover- 4 stars
Title- 3.5 stars
Blurb- 3 stars
Content- 3 stars
Writing and Presentation- 3 stars
Overall- 3.3 stars out of 5
The blurb does not do much justice to the book. It’s much more than the blurb and the ones who decide to pick a book from the likes of the blurb, might miss out on a lot.
The primary aspect of the book was the WhatsApp group, and despite being an usual concept, it did not entice me. Being a seasoned reader, the WhatsApp text format did not meet my liking and I found myself frowning whenever I had to encounter those. They did not seem that funny either. It would have been a delight to read those stories if they would have written in the same quirky way the author uses to present us with scoops from her life. The Page 6 and beyond stories would have been more lively in the author’s language.
I rate the writing and presentation in a combined fashion and there are a few instances like this when I wish to appreciate the author’s way of writing but the presentation mars the rating as a whole.
I would love to read more from the author and being a debut book, the way she presents herself as a person, though her words, is certainly remarkable. I absolutely enjoyed the stories that were about her life and though the author specifies in the prologue that, the book is NOT her autobiography, I can only think how funny she would make her autobiography, if she decides to write one.
Reviewed by- Banaja Prakashini
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About Hureen Saghar Gandhi-
Hureen Saghar Gandhi lives with her husband and their two wonderful daughters in Northern Virginia. She savors her ever-growing collection of memories from her travel escapades and meeting people from all around the world. Her passion lies in capturing the moments(that may get lost in time) through her camera lens. And recently through her writing, she humorously brings to life her fond memories.