Author: Madhu Vajpayee
Family saga books have the perfect combination of melodrama, emotions, values and morals. All these characteristics make them an instant hit among readerships as diverse as fantasy loving teens to romantic genre loving young adults, as well as seasoned readers who like to delve into books of critical acclaim. The author Madhu Vajpayee comes up with her book “I owed you one” which is a contemporary take on modern family relationships and the challenges that a family can face if it stands united against adversities.
The premise of the story centres on promises and commitments, triumphs and defeat, and holding on and letting go- by following the journey of the protagonist Dev Khanna, which is nothing short of an emotional roller-coaster. Dev has a perfect life with his wife Radhika and son Neel in Melbourne, Autralia but a mysterious letter shakes the very foundation he has built his life on. This thing from his past keeps gnawing him and reminding him of a debt. Will he be able to make peace with his past and save his future? To what extent will he go for a promise made years ago? The storyline goes on to answer these questions, while concurrently encompassing a tale of love, duty, sacrifices, emotional strength and courageous spirit.
The book cover shows the protagonist standing on a wooden jetty and looking both at the vast expanse of sea around and an aeroplane traversing the gloomy cloud-covered sky, with an illuminated aura around him- which depicts his inner enlightenment due to the rendezvous with the reality of his mysterious past- as he has come to know about it, he can take suitable actions and is thus not cruising in an oblivious bubble. The blurb at the back cover is short and crisp, and explains the overview of the book well.
The story is well-written and has its high and low points, just like the stirring ups and downs of Dev. The climax of the story is well-crafted and the intense build-up of the story with its entire emotional quotient and grooving twists and turns makes it even more exceptional. Though the book doesn’t have a long list of characters, this family saga is well-characterised. Dev is shown as weak at places due to the struggles with his harrowing past, but the instances where he gathers strength and displays immense resilience is when the story will get the reader’s admiration.
This is a book that takes one through the posh suburbs of Melbourne to the dingy lanes of Moradabad; while simultaneously delving into the impassioned peregrinations of a character baffled by contemporary adversities emanating from a troubled past. The narrative sheds light on the idealism of the perfect present, as well as the harsh realities of a brutal past- which has been likened to skeletons tumbling one after the other from the cupboard. It should be read by people interested in family sagas, as well as those who adulate stories with strong characters and immaculate emotional depth.
WRITTEN BY: CHIRDEEP MALHOTRA