Book Review: The Glass House – A Year of Our Days -by Chanchal Sanyal

Book Blurb:

College professor M.B. and his designer wife, Roshni, are a yuppie couple living in the ever-expanding, smog encrusted, roiling city of Delhi. They have finally achieved their dream of buying their own apartment—in an an up and coming builder complex in Gurgaon. The problem is, it looks like it’s going to be up and coming for a while.

Along with this woe come tumbling a hundred others. M.B. is sure his wife’s growing distance and disaffection from him has less to do with the stalling on the house front, and more because she is finding solace in the arms of Rocky, the stud son of their Punjabi landlord. The landlord, on his part, ‘Fatbum’ Khanna, is greasing his way further into his tenants’ lives, filling their ears with advice on how to navigate the growing mound of bank papers, loan agreements and, of course, building jargon. What is galling for M.B. to admit is that he may just need all the help this canny businessman can provide.

Review:

Chanchal Sanyal in his debut novel has effectively captured one of the biggest issues of a typical Indian household; buying your own house. The story revolves around a Bengali professor and his designer wife, who are trying to find their own home in Delhi NCR. While living in a rented house of their Punjabi landlord, Mr. Khanna; this book takes on a roller coaster ride of finding a house to buy.

Everyone around, wants to build a house of their own; partly because it has been instilled in us while growing up and also, because it promotes a hassle free living. Hence, the story is very relatable, we encounter everyday with these problems and issues. The complexities in marriage due to some influences and decisions have been captured pretty well and in detail.

The characters in the book are both amusing and engaging; the landloard, Bong professor and Roshni (his wife) seem to be approachable in their own unique ways.

“I am the lord and master of my rented two – bedroom second floor flat like the Emperor Alexander, I am surveying what frontiers I can conquer next.

At times, I found certain explanations unnecessary and superficial; though I enjoyed the writing style of Author. The use of words native to Delhi-NCR gave the book a personal touch. The book could have been condensed further to tell a much tighter story, it still holds true to the topic. As a first time published Author, Chanchal has managed to deliver a complex yet relevant, contemporary urban tale. The elements of humour and satire were right on point and helped the story to have an engagement with the reader. Overall, the book has correctly captured the horrors of a house buying process in a form of fictional description of a couple in a Metro city.

Book Information:

Pages: 184

Language: English

Genre: Fiction

My Rating: 3/5

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