Author– Ashish Srivastava
Book– Man vs Wife
Previous Works– Debut novel
Publishers– Amazon Kindle
Number of Pages– 128
The story is a sweet and sour narrative of a young, impulsive IT professional who wants to divorce his wife. Having come across the draconian Indian laws highly biased in favor of his wife, he teams up with a middle-aged struggling lawyer willing to go to any extent for greed. The lawyer advises the husband to break the seven vows of marriage one by one, so that his wife starts hating him and agrees for mutual consent route, even before they decide to go for a contested divorce.
Will this husband be able to break the seven vows of marriage, at last? And the greedy lawyer… will he be successful to break this marriage off?
Man vs Wife by Ashish Srivastava was a rather offbeat and amusing read.
It revolves about the plight and plots of a man named Viral, who wishes to break his marriage vows and be done with them once and for all. He approaches a lawyer to get a divorce and then the series of unfortunate knowledge begins to enlighten him. He realizes that things won’t be as easy as he had assumed at first.
To bring an end to his plights, he hatches a plot with his lawyer to get rid of his wife’s any claim to his mental peace and everything else. Alas, his lawyer seems to have an ulterior motive apart from the fees he was milking from his client.
The plot is unconventional and throws light on the aspects of the suffering of an innocent man who gets in the turmoil of divorce. India is a country where a majority of women are oppressed and most of them suffer at the hands of a man. But here, we witness something different. The protagonist Viral, wishes to end his marriage with his wife Trisha, because it was likely that both of them were unhappy and dissatisfied with each other. From the very start, the character longed for some peace, and the situation had made his wife the sole reason why he wasn’t getting any of it. But the meetings with his lawyer convinced him that the Man won’t have peace until the Wife commands it, and that’s where it all goes wrong.
When I said the book was offbeat, I mean t it. I loved the idea of the plot and the way the climax was executed. Halfway through, I had guessed it might end up as a murder mystery and had loathed the idea of innocence gone down the drain, but the author, Ashish Srivastava did not fail me. Instead, he introduced a twist that warmed me up and maybe made me chuckle because it was weird. Another aspect of the execution that I appreciate, was the step by step breaking of the marriage vows, it was rather thoughtful.
The book is funny. It won’t make you roll in laughter but if you think of it, you will smile because the minute details are fun and entertaining. Professional beginnings having personal endings and the pathway, amusing.
The plot was what made the book stand out. In this world, cruel against women, even the men are not treated right, and the plot was a bright example. Apart from that, how the concept of happily ever after is indeed a fairytale, is where the book burns bright.
Cover- 3 star
Title- 3.5 star
Blurb- 3.5 star
Plot- 4 star
Writing and Presentation- 3.5 star
Overall- 3.5 stars out of 5
The cover is not something that would attract readers, unless you go by reviews and the blurb.
I liked the thought that has gone at framing the title. When the marriage vows are exchanged in certain communities, the priest ends the session, announcing the couple as “Man and Wife”. And the exact thing, as per my assumption, has paved the way for “Man vs Wife”. Despite all the thought, the fight wasn’t of equals because we never heard Trisha’s part.
The blurb is a fine blurb though it doesn’t even give a glimpse of the amusement the reader will receive, involving certain characters.
For a debut book, the author Ashish Srivastava had done really well with the plot, but the narration lagged behind. It was not that lucid and there was no part which helps you connect well with the characters. For me, a great book is the one where the reader is able to feel the same way as the characters and that part lacked in the narration. I read the entire book, but there was not a time I felt guilty or any sort of emotion for any character. The narration turns the reader into just a spectator (as the likes of Brandon Stark in GOT).
The book is a short read, so undoubtedly it’s worth the reader’s time, but it just could have been so much more. It won’t make you change the way you think, but it will definitely give you something to think about.
I wish to encourage the author, to write more stories of this sort as I am quite sure the next would be better.
Reviewed by- Banaja Prakashini
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