The Story about the Story (How Over the Hills and Far Away came to be)

 “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” - Maya Angelou


And here I have another book to share with the world. I am back writing a post again after an incredibly long hiatus and I wish I   hadn’t stopped updating my blog, but sometimes, due to personal reasons, we put a distance between what we actually do and what we want to do. And in turn, we end up not doing what we should be doing. However, I am glad that I have had a very good year, a   very busy year that involved moving between two countries, moving homes, getting the children settled down in a new school and then writing – at the end of which I have a book to share. Phew!

Behind: The Way We Are – Dark Tales From the Himalayas


After two years of writing and editing these stories. I have finally found the courage to publish it on Kindle as an ebook and on Createspace as a paperback. These stories are precious as they are my babies whom I have given birth and nurtured them until they were ready to cross the threshold. Countless cups of teas and countless hours of contemplation, character building, shaping and reshaping the stories have gone into the making of The Way We Are and I cannot be more proud to see the end result. I cannot be happier to share the book with you all. I do earnestly hope that it receives the love and support it deserves.

A Grand Window into History: The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sunderesan

Title: The Twentieth Wife

Author: Indu Sunderesan

Pages: 380

Genre: Historical Fiction

Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sunderesan came to me at a time when Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James had mercilessly dashed my reader expectations to the fiery depths of ghastly disappointment. The Twentieth Wife came to me when I had begun to wonder about the deterioration of the level of literal hunger from readers world wide, that a book packed with such indigestible characters lived for one thing only – to satiate their maddening hunger for a physical connection that demanded a fulfillment of  an unimaginably twisted fantasy through monotonous repetitions – had mesmerized the readers to a point that an exorbitant amount was paid for film rights. To recover from a disconcerting experience as this one, I needed a book that would be vastly different, and The Twentieth Wife provided a breath of a rejuvenating fresh air.


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Finding Poe (four stars)

I recently finished reading Finding Poe by Leigh M. Lane and was both gently nudged  and perplexed through the course of the story.


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The Thirteenth Tale – An uncanny and persuasive literary treat

I become miserable when I am nearing the end of a book I have loved so well. I try to stretch my reading of it, so that I have more time to spend on it. However, the last page has to be read sometime, and the book has to be put to rest sometime. The story however, or the story-within-a story becomes a part of you forever.

Margaret Lea is met by a surprise when a letter arrives in her name from the country’s most celebrated author Vida Winter, who seeks her out to recount her story. As a biographer, Margaret knows that other biographers would die to get an opportunity to write Miss Winter’s story, but then the fact that she has been chosen of all the people, comes as a huge surprise. Margaret has not read a single work by Miss Winter and she does not know anything about the author except that she is an acclaimed author and that her work has been translated into as many languages as possible. Why did then, Miss Winter choose just Margaret to write her story? Perhaps it has got something to do with Miss Winter’s Thirteenth tale of “Change and Desperation”.

Linger – Lambent and Poignant. A must read for all poetry lovers.

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Pages: 416
Published by: Scholastic
Year of Publication: 2010
Edition I read: UK edition, Paperback
Verdict: 4 Stars out of 5

A personal note:

Although I found Shiver better than Linger, it does not mean that Linger was not interesting. Besides, first book is always the best because they are always the real ice breakers. I enjoy Maggie Stiefvater’s writing in away that it reminds me of lucid poetry. It is very unfortunate that both Shiver and Linger should receive such brutal reviews on Goodreads. Don’t people like poetry anymore? I also don’t understand why people have to take a bitter stance and direct their antipathy directly towards the author who spent days, weeks, months even years to give birth to the novel. There is a difference between bad reviews and negative ones and the latter is much more worse because unknowingly it stifles the creativity of a sensitive author. Constructive criticism is what we are here for aren’t we? To help the author take better steps? It is very sad that such is not the case. I find that some people have no notion about how book reviews are written.

“ Her eye rolled up towards me, black and bottomless, and one of her front legs twitched, a memory of running. There was something awful about terror trapped behind silence. About latent emotions that couldn’t be acted out…
…She screamed, this high scream that was neither human nor animal but something terrible in between, the sort of sound that you never forget no matter how many beautiful things you hear afterwards. Then she was silent, because her punctured lungs were empty. She was dead, and I wanted to be. I was going to find out ho to keep myself a wolf. Or I just couldn’t do this any more.” (Page 249)

Cirkeln (The Circle) – A Review

Authors: Mats Strandberg & Sara Bergmark Elfgren
Genre: Young Adult Supernatural
Series: Trilogy
Published by: Rabén & Sjögren
Date: April 2011
Pages: 516
Primary language: Swedish
ISBN:  9129676053
5 out of 5 Stars

Engelsfors, an inconspicuous little town in the Hedemora municipality of central Sweden has more than meets the eye. The town is like all Swedish small towns, beautiful, but for a dark and eerie forest that fringes it, where people could get lost or go missing.  It is here that the eternal battle with the darkest of evil is about to take place. But before that, the ones fated to fight this battle must be chosen to give birth to the  perfect circle within which an affiliated force of supernatural power will ultimately destroy the evil. The circle cannot be completed without the allegiance of each one of the chosen ones.

A Great & Terrible Beauty – A Review

Author: Libba Bray
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published by: Random House
Year of Publication: December 9th 2003
Series: Gemma Doyle Trilogy
Pages: 403
Verdict: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Gemma Doyle is an outright teenage rebel with an attitude that is unforgivable in the Victorian Era. Hating her existence in the dusty and grueling plains of India, she harbours a great deal of dislike for her mother mainly because she does not comply to Gemma’s wish of moving back to London and attending a finishing school for proper young ladies.
Under very mysterious circumstances, Gemma’s mother loses her life shunning her husband, Gemma’s father into an oblivion where his life is ruled by alcohol consumption. Thus suddenly Gemma’s wish comes true when she is transported to London where she is admitted into Spence Academy, a finishing school where proper young ladies are honed to make perfect dutiful wives to their husbands. Wracked by guilt for being ruthlessly sarcastic and intolerable towards her mother, Gemma deeply blames herself for her mother’s untimely demise and is unable to celebrate her admittance to London’s society.

Spartan Heart Part Two – A Review

Book: Spartan Heart Part Two
Author: Kristine Cheney
Published by: Astraea Press
Year of Publication: 2011
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Warning: Contains Spoilers

“he liked the way her copper stare flashed perdition and venom. The little spitfire had reeled his head back good when she dared to punch his face. Philip liked her sass. Calculated thoughts gave away the brilliance of her intelligence. She was smart as she was beautiful. Her mind never ceased plotting. This woman came fully stocked with an impressive arsenal of mutiny.” (Chapter One)

Philip, another Spartan warrior is brought back to life from his statued existence by Demona. To materialize her antipathy towards Dorien and Evangeline, she uses Philip to destroy Evangeline. Upon probing Evangeline’s thought, Philip realizes that she is innocent but before he discerns that she  is pregnant with twins and that she belongs to Dorien, an accident occurs while she tries to run away from Philip. Evangeline slips and falls putting her pregnancy in jeopardy. Dorien is embittered with rage upon  seeing the danger his lady love is exposed to, and not recognizing his fellow warrior, he tries to make Philip pay for putting Evangeline’s life at risk but little does he know that Evangeline is carrying his babies. However, fate would have it otherwise, as Philip regrets his callousness and his contrition allows him and Dorien to reunite as long lost brothers. Dorien is taken aback when he realizes that Evangeline has kept the truth about her pregnancy from him, and he feel offended deeply, but he forgives her nonetheless. After all she is his raison d’etre.

Unaccustomed Earth – A Review

Name: Unaccustomed Earth
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
Genre: Short Stories
Published year: 2008 (Knopf)
Pages: 331
My Rating: Four and a half stars

Recuperating from a flu, I lay reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth and was silently bowled over by her powerful and engaging style of writing. The prolific author of Namesake has come out with yet another anthology of short stories that touch you, caress you, enter your heart and mind making a permanent place within it.
The book is divided into two parts, the first being separate stories of separate people and the second part comprises of three stories related to each other through the characters of Hema and Kaushik. Very true in its Bengali essence as all Lahiri’s writings are founded upon, each story is deeply moving, highly entertaining and thought provoking. All of the stories are based on U.S. based Bengali characters.


Yoshay Lama

I welcome you warmly to my blog. This is the resting place of most of my creative work. This blog consists of book reviews, articles, poems, mere reflections and excerpts from my stories.

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