source: Free review copy via AmazonVine
title: A Bad Character
author: Deepti Kapoor
published: Knopf (January 20, 2015)
first line: My boyfriend died when I was twenty-one.
A highly charged debut novel about a young woman in India, and the love that both shatters and transforms her.
She is twenty and restless in New Delhi. Her mother has died; her father has left for Singapore.
He is a few years older, just back to India from New York.
When they meet in a café one afternoon, she–lonely, hungry for experience, yearning to break free of tradition–casts aside her fears and throws herself headlong into a love affair, one that takes her where she has never been before.
Told in a voice at once gritty and lyrical, mournful and frank, A Bad Character is an unforgettable hymn to an exhilarating, dangerous city, and a portrait of desire and its consequences as timeless as it is universal.
I found A Bad Character to be a unique read. The storyline follows a young woman living in New Delhi. Her mother died when she was just seventeen and she is left with her Auntie who is trying to secure a good marriage for her. The story flips back and forth to her past and present at age twenty when she meets a man and begins a love affair. He has visited New York and has experienced so much more than she has, which she envies him for.
As the story flows, you get to see how destructive her relationship with this man is. He introduces her to drugs and she cannot resist him even though she considers him to be physically unattractive.
I enjoyed the narrative and the writing style but at times I found it jarring. There is a change in perspective, time frame and and point of view.
And just his presence. Just his hand on my belly as we sleep, when he loves me. It lives forever.
Close your eyes, go to sleep.
p.23, A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor
Author Deepti Kapoor brings India to life in a unique and beautiful way, the writing is almost dreamlike in structure.
Crepuscular. Delhi creeps as we go, the sun sinks behind the earth once more, bathes in the rotten Yamuna, drowns there.
I recommend A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor if you enjoy gritty stories and unconventional writing styles. Even with the small qualms I had with the way the time frame changes, I still enjoyed this one. This is a book you can dip in and out of as it reads like poetry.
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free copy of A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor via AmazonVine.