Book Review: The Face At The Window, Will Give You Goosebumps, And A Few Flashbacks Too
I saw The Face In The Window on my colleague’s desk and the book’s cover lured me instantly. Is that face in the window, looking back at me? Now, I am a brave reader, and the fact that my colleague is not is what has led to this book review.
Mrs McNally is a retired schoolteacher and lives alone, in a cottage on a remote hill station. She loves living here, spending her time writing and chatting up with the people around. Her daughter, a social worker, lives abroad, but she has a granddaughter who lives and studies at a boarding school nearby, and she visits often.
However, such bliss can be a myth, and Mrs McNally knows that best. Life has been long, and has left her burdened with memories of failed relationships. She wants to unload that burden, but can’t, afraid that her past will affect the present for her daughter and granddaughter. But then, memories are like ghosts, and they turn up when least expected.
The Face At The Window brings out a similarity between the ghosts of the past and present. The story builds slowly, noting details of events and characters, and then takes off to focus on the subject. The author has been attentive to introducing and establishing each character: Mrs McNally, who was abandoned at childhood, led a full life but now wants to live alone and peacefully. You will also meet her granddaughter, Nina, the teenager who has a crush on a doctor twice her age and is not clued in to the reality of life. Then there is Sumit, who is on a sabbatical to write a book.
The characters and story seem very real, and made me stick to the book till the last page. I got a bit emotional reading about the life of a woman whose name was also a lie. She has never seen a relationship blossom in her life, and is not even attached to her own daughter. Such detachment and emotional turmoil happens in real life too, but not everyone admits it.
You try to find happiness in the little things, but do run the risk of getting trapped by ghosts of the past. The Face In The Window is a gentle story, about the lack of identity and the eternal search to find yourself. It will give you goosebumps at certain points, and you will continue to read till the end. And perhaps, let out a sigh when you reach there. This one is a must read!
Title: THE FACE AT THE WINDOW
Author: KIRAN MANRAL
Available on Amazon