About the Book
In the autumn of 2012, destiny wreaks havoc on two unsuspecting people – Soham and Fiona. Although his devastating past involving his brother still haunted him, Soham had established a promising career for himself in Bangalore. After a difficult childhood, Fiona’s fortunes had finally taken a turn for the better. She had married her beloved, and her life was as perfect as she had ever imagined it to be. But when tragedy strikes them yet again, their fundamentally fragile lives threaten to fall apart. Can Fiona and Soham overcome their grief? Will the overwhelming pain destroy their lives?
Praise for The Fragile Thread of Hope
“Pankaj’s characters certainly evoke sympathy and throw light on important social issues. A good read.” (Chitra Divakaruni, award-winning bestselling author of The Palace of Illusions)
“An epic tale of love, loss, hope and faith that will remain with you long after the final page. With its lovely characters and beautiful prose, it ranks right up there with my favourites.” (Renita D’Silva, award-nominated bestselling author of The Forgotten Daughter)
“A literary masterpiece!” (Keshav Aneel, bestselling author of Promise Me A Million Times)
Format: ebook (408 pp.) Publisher:
Published: 29th October 2017 Genre: Literary Fiction
Find The Fragile Thread of Hope on Goodreads
The Fragile Thread of Hope is a powerful story of grief, loss, betrayal and survival. At times, the thread of hope feels very fragile indeed – frayed almost to breaking point, in fact – as tragedy follows tragedy for its protagonists, Soham and Fiona. Told in separate, alternating storylines that have shifting timelines and flashbacks, the book does require a degree of concentration from the reader to make sense of the chronology.
As a debut novelist, the author is naturally still developing his writing skills but already he shows an eye for imaginative metaphors and evocative description. For instance, after a telephone conversation is abruptly ended, Soham wonders if the sudden termination of the call is an indication of ‘the harsh unpredictability of life – all it needs is a flick of a heavenly switch to abort the feeble connection.’ Another imaginative phrase I noted down was ‘Sorrow hung in the air like a curse.’
Occasionally, some of the similes felt a little forced – ‘Time passed like a bulldozer through a marsh of silence’ – or overdone. For example, I loved this description of two tea glasses: ‘Clouds of steam rising from the glasses twisted and twirled around each other like long lost partners.’ But the preceding sentence didn’t work quite so well for me: ‘Water droplets dripped from the side of the cone-shaped glasses like cold sweat.’ (Ugh!) However, there are some wonderful descriptions of landscape and of food. Like this, of a paneer cheese grilled sandwich: ‘Soham bit into the melange of cottage cheese chunks, juicy onion, capsicum, tomato slices, and rich mayonnaise wrapped inside crunchy grilled sandwich bread slices. Traces of the topping – grated, luscious mozzarella cheese – stuck to his teeth like gum.’ My mouth was watering at this point and I don’t even like paneer!
One of the author’s chief achievements is to make the characters feel real, so that the reader becomes fully engaged in their emotional journeys. I especially liked the relationship between Soham and his older brother; a really affecting picture of brotherly love. And I felt incredibly angry on Soham’s behalf at one particular point. (You’ll know it when you get to it.) I also felt drawn to Sharon for her resilience and her desire to do the best for her daughter, Fiona, despite the traumatic experiences she had suffered herself. Finally, in Fiona, the reader gets a real sense of someone struggling to trust others and to regain a sense of her own self-worth.
Sadly, for both Soham and Fiona, the prospect of happiness may be eagerly grasped but is often found to be transitory or deceptive. However, the book also delivers an uplifting message of the possibility of overcoming even the most devastating tragedy. ‘It is easy to lose our way in the dark maze of despair and give up on our precious lives, but we must hang on.’ That thread may be frayed but, in the end, it is not broken.
If my review has piqued your interest in The Fragile Thread of Hope – and I hope it has – you can read an extract from the book here. I also recently had the pleasure of interviewing Pankaj about the inspiration for the book and his writing journey.
I received a review copy courtesy of the author in return for an honest and unbiased review. I’d like to thank Pankaj for his patience in waiting for his book to reach the top of my review pile.
In three words: Emotional, intense, expressive
About the Author
Pankaj Giri was born and brought up in Gangtok, Sikkim – a picturesque hill station in India. He began his writing career in 2015 by co-authoring a book – Friendship Love and Killer Escapades (FLAKE). Learning from experience and the constructive criticism that he got for his first book, he has now written a new novel, The Fragile Thread of Hope, a mainstream literary fiction dealing with love, loss, and family relationships. He is currently working in the government sector in Sikkim. He likes to kill time by listening to progressive metal music and watching cricket.
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