The Crossover Year by Bhargavi Bhalachandran

I've known Bhargavi through her blog  and liked her-straight-from-the-heart posts laced with a wry humour. So, when she published her book The Crossover Year recently, I wanted to lay my hands on it. While, I'd have liked to changed the end a bit, I did enjoy the book on the whole.

The book is about Anuprabha, who holds a MBA and works in a multinational bank but is dissatisfied at work. She wants to find her true calling before she turns three zero and dreads the consequences of quitting a dream job and treading on paths that are less travelled. 

The course of events where she quits her job and is faced with situations that she'd not accounted for when she dreamt of re-creating her life is laced with good humour and pace.

Whether she truly finds her calling in the end is for you to find out.

What worked: I loved the way the main protagonist was sketched. Her confusion of staying in the rat-race, when her heart is truly not, her being a closet feminist,of not being able to put her foot down despite being pushed to the wall at the work-place, her feeling of being let down when her judgment of people misses the mark, all of these varied emotions have been sketched very well truly making Anu a girl-next-door character; one you can relate to very easily. The other characters in the story also seem to be lifted from real-life situations- neither black or white but having several shades in between. The strong point of the book is that the events in Anu's life, the way she connects with the sub-characters, and her thought process is very rooted to real-life. You can definitely exclaim at many points through the book, 'hey, that's me!' or 'that's my life!'

What didn't quite work: It took me an initial few pages to get me hooked to the book after which the plot gathers momentum. The final phase where you expect a fitting closure somehow left me wanting for more in some ways; the all's well in the end conclusion came a little rushed perhaps? The bit where Anu takes part in a contest definitely had me in splits, but I found the aftermath of the event a tad unrealistic. Probably that's just me and an author is after all allowed to take some liberties with his/her creation. Also I did find some minor loopholes in the narration barring all of which I really liked and enjoyed the book. It's definitely a feel-good-book that has its elements of drama, humour and goodness.

My rating: 3.5/5
Publication: Alchemy publishers
Available on: Amazon: