Book Review : Scars do Heal

Book on rape victims

I received the book ‘Scars do heal’ written by Shilpa Menon as part of the Goodreads giveaway. After having read the book and keeping with the spirit of a ‘Giveaway’, here I am with the book review for the same.

Scars do heal review

Scars do heal: If given a chance

The book cover aptly depicts a rose (metaphorical image for a woman). We see the picture of a grayish-black dead-rose torn in the middle, revealing a pink rose. This can either indicate that the woman in the story has a dark past and future however her present is a rosy picture or can imply that behind the dead rose lies a colourful life. However, for me, it represents the noble view of the male protagonist, wherein he is able to see hope(a pink rose) even in a dead rose and is able to rekindle the life in it!

The blurb gives a glimpse into what to expect from the story and it definitely heightens the enthusiasm to grab a copy…

Meet Sonal Kapoor. An entrepreneur who revived a closing florist’s store with her heart and soul, a young lady with a busy life in the heart of London, and a doting daughter who wants to do a lot for her mother, but simply can’t find the time. Sonal has a difficult past – one that she sought to overcome in her move from India to London. And yet, something or the other keeps the trauma alive. Until Dr. Ryan Percy enters her life. A chance encounter at their neighbourhood convenience store leads from one thing to the next – and eventually, Sonal is challenged in ways she never thought would be possible. Dr. Percy is everything one can expect in the man of their dreams – and he comes with a painful past, too. There is a piece in the jigsaw of his life that is missing, and he thinks of it as having been found – but whether that piece will sit or not, remains a question. Does Sonal heal or hurt more? Does Ryan find what he is looking for? Does love conquer?

The language used in the book is very simple without any complicated jargon. The narrator of the story is Sonal and the narration is in the first person.

As suggested in the blurb, the character of Sonal has a dark and difficult past and is in a constant battle to defeat the nightmares of her past because of which a pall of gloom descends over her present. To infuse hope and happiness into Sonal, the writer brings in the character of Ryan-a stranger; who helps her to overcome the fear and in the process gives her hope and courage to start afresh the non-existent love life of hers. Every character introduced in this story, helps the story to move forward and make it interesting, be it -Kevin, Cathy, or for that matter the girls at the florist’s store. Also, Shilpa has beautifully brought out the positives and the negatives of two cultures- Indian and British through the protagonists’ families and the general outlook of Sonal’s friends.

As suggested before, the book revolves around rape, a rape victim, the stigma attached to ‘rape victims’, and the rehabilitation of the victims. How Sonal being a victim of rape has to move out of the country to avoid public humiliation-shows the irony of living in a society that accepts the rapist but not the rape victim! During the course of the story, the writer has very rightfully stressed upon the rehabilitation stages in a rape victim’s life through the character of Sonal’s therapist which is very conceivable and helps to sensitize the readers on the issue. Also, through the character of the rapist and his reintroduction in the story, the writer has touched upon the consequences of letting the rapist free without counseling and shows how dangerous can the rapists behave when they are not satiated even after committing a horrendous crime.

I would have showered some more stars if only the story was a little fast-paced and gripping. This being the very first book of Shilpa Menon, one might want to overlook the repetition of many conversations and lines, especially Sonal’s amusement for Ryan and her conversations with the girls at ‘Kushboo’.

The publishing quality of the book(though being a paperback edition) apart from the storyline adds to the overall appeal of the book and doubles the pleasure of reading.

To sum up, this book makes an emotional read by giving a plausible solution to the issue of rape, and in no way can a reader not fall in love with the magnanimous character of Ryan and the courage and confidence filled character of Sonal.

This book is all the more relevant in today’s time especially in India, wherein a rape takes place every 30mins and some of the rapists walk scot-free citing the loopholes in the judiciary! Go for it book lovers…

I give this book a rating of 3.5 / 5!

Title: Scars do Heal

Author: Shilpa Menon

Total pages: 328

Publishers: Notion Press

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