Last weekend I completed reading Sudha Murty’s “The mother I never knew”. A collection of two simple novellas, the book gives a peek into families and their past secrets- and how important are they in the here and now.
The book presents two different men and their stories. Venkatesh the bank manager, accidently stumbles upon his father’s past and discovers an abandoned wife and child. On the other hand Mukesh, the son of a well-to-do man, discovers on his father’s death that he was actually adopted. Both men accidently uncover a past, to find a mother they never knew existed. How do both of them make amends?
The Mother I Never Knew is a poignant dramatic book, reaching into not only human emotions but also subtly touching upon various social evils exiting in our society.
Sudha Murty writes in her trademark style- simple narration sans superfluous words. Both the tales are humble, straight forward stories. I wouldn’t call them something new, ‘cause books and movies have portrayed similar ones before. Nevertheless, I liked Sudha Murty’s touch as she delves into social practices and evils that exist in our society.
After substantial amount of serious reading this book seemed a breeze to me. The first novella “Venkatesh” kept me reading as narration moved on to events in a quick pace. However she could have surely omitted a couple of dialogues among the key characters, which seemed a bit irrelevant to me. The second novella “Mukesh” was quite a letdown. The plot dragged on and moved towards being very predictable. I liked the fact that in both the novellas the melo-drama was kept minimal.
The Mother I Never Knew may surely not be Sudha Murty’s best of fictions. If you would love to get a flavor of North Karnataka and its ways, this book could give you that experience. Otherwise I would call it an average read, which could be completed in a single sitting.