Secrets & Lies by Jaishree Misra

Two continents, 4 ladies and a letter which beckons them to re trace their childhood, a letter which takes them down to that dark corner of their lives which they wished never existed.

Zeba (reigning bollywood queen), Sam (a housewife in denial that her marriage might be on its last leg), Bubbles (wife of a multi millionaire leading an otherwise empty life) & Anita (a journalist & a single woman who has carved an identity which she had always dreamt of) have spent their growing years together & share a bond unlike others.

The book opens with them receiving a letter from the principle of their school. The letter reminds them of the fateful year when they had passed out. It also brings back the memory of Lily, the new student who without trying had upstaged each of these popular girls in some manner or the other. In no time Lily becomes the most hated student of the class. Things would have been normal & taken as teenage jealousy had Lily been not found dead on a fateful night!

Who killed her?
Did the girls hate her enough to kill her?

Or Was it really a murder?

Was her past catching up on her!!

These questions have been haunting the girls in some form or the other. There is also a guilt which makes them think, could they have reacted differently?

The four friends ultimately decide to go back to their school & burn the ghosts of their past but do they manage to do that? Or will they unravel something which would change their lives forever?

You will have to read the book to know more.

The book traces the journey of each of these women from present to past. I absolutely loved the narration of the book. It takes you into the past and then throws you back in present. When you are in present you would yearn to know about what happened in the past & vice versa.

Each character has been well etched and gives you reason for their respective behavior, the book slowly but steadily traces the growth of each of the characters. But how I wished that Lily’s character was explored a little bit more. She had a past which would explain her present behavior but the past is touched upon very briefly.

However the most frustrating thing about the book is the way the author leaves you with small details & keeps you waiting with baited breath as to what will happen next 😀 recipe of a true blue page turner I say 😉

It briefly touches upon so many contemporary issues like being over worked, ignored, ego hassles, child sexual abuse, violence, infidelity, gay issues, and issues with in-laws etc.

My only problem with the book is its end. The way book moves you feel it is coming up for a wonderful climax but it doesn’t happen that ways. What could have been fantastic just fizzles out in the end. In fact the way the book ends it gives me a feeling that a sequel might be coming up. Lets see if that’s the case!!!

If I have to summarize the book I would say a chick-lit cum thriller cum suspense novel cum teenage romance cum bollywood masala cum contemporary issues makes this an immensely readable fare and a gripping page turner.

3.5 Stars our of 5 from me, good as a Masala Time Pass read 🙂

Edited after seeing Sakhis comment because I actually liked the book and would recommend it to all those who love race reads.

Here I must add that Indian Authors specialize in dishing out emotional stuff and rarely do we see them coming up with Page turner thrillers and in this case the author has surely succeeded. Another interesting fact about the book is the way it was publicized. There was a contest going on in Hindustan Times wherein the readers were asked to share the darkest secrets of their lives and the reader with the most daring secret was supposed to win or something like that. Needless to say I was amazed with the way the book was being pushed forward.

Other books that I have read from the author

Accidents Like Love and Marriage (Book based in Delhi a good time pass read with humor are at all the right places)

Afterwards (A sad book of Love & Loss)

P.S. People who are interested in knowing what I am reading or to read quick one liner reviews from me can check this account of mine. I update this place every day and leave a quickie one line about how I am finding a book.

Author: Jaishree Misra
Price: 275/-
Publisher: Harper Collins

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