Blog tour: Fear and Lovely

Welcome to the blog tour for Fear and Lovely by Anjana Appachana!

More about the book…

Mallika is a painfully shy young woman growing up in the heart of a close-knit, sometimes stifling New Delhi colony.

Though she is surrounded by love, her life is complicated by secrets that she, her mother and her aunt work hard to keep. After suffering a trauma aged nineteen that causes her to lose three days of her memory and spiral into a deep depression, Mallika must find a way out of the abyss, back to herself and those she cares about. But she must also hide her mental illness from her community.

In a narrative that unfolds elliptically from the perspectives of Mallika and the seven people closest to her, the astonishing story of these characters' intertwining lives emerges.

For Mallika's family, childhood friends and the two men she loves are also hiding truths. As each gives voice to contending with their own struggles, secrets and silences shatter.

More about the author…

Anjana Appachana was born and educated in India, where she did her BA (Hons) in English at Delhi University and her MA in Sociology at Jawaharlal Nehru University. After working in India for a few years, she went on to do her MFA in Creative Writing at Penn State. Subsequently, she has been living both in the US and in India. Appachana’s book Incantations & Other Stories was published in the UK, India, the US, Germany and France, and her novel Listening Now, in the US, India and France. Her short stories have been published in various journals, anthologies and magazines. Appachana is a recipient of the National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship and an O. Henry Festival prize. She is based in Arizona.

My impressions…

India is a country that fascinates me to no end, so I was glad for the opportunity to read a book set in New Delhi even though I knew that the treatment of women and the views on mental health issues that I was likely to find within its pages were going to be tough to read. Set in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the story of Mallika and the people around her drew me in completely. All characters have been wonderfully brought to life and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about how they viewed the same events in the book in different ways. I love multiple POVs when done well, and the author did a great job here.

Three words to describe it. Engaging. Moving. Evocative.

Do I like the cover? Yes, it is striking!

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, not yet.

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