Walk Away by Anitha Padanattil is a story about the courage to walk away and rebuild one’s life. The narrative tides across various characters from different walks of life.
I have always strived to write an honest review, and never a bad one intentionally. This review may seem harsh and unpalatable, but I have the author’s best wishes at heart.
While the author’s intent is at the right place as she addresses the issue of domestic abuse and the associated trauma, the miserable writing is a letdown. I even wondered if the author had uploaded the unedited draft by mistake.
The main story is of Rashi, a victim of abuse, and her subsequent escape from her abuser. But the story has more secondary characters than required. Interestingly, when the story starts, the character is named Rashmika in one instance, and then she is addressed as Rashi.
Mala, Sharada, Monica, Sahaj, Vinay, Vinitha… are a few among many, many supporting characters who walk through the pages. Except for Sharada, none of the characters are well-defined. They lack girth and could be fleshed out better. There are too many parallel stories happening, and they are not neatly tied together.
Certain characters like Vinitha are introduced unnecessarily and add further chaos to the already disordered script.
The vernacular bits heightened my hardship. The author has liberally used Hindi, Marathi, and Malayalam words. I have nothing against their usage, but unfortunately, in this novel, they are unwanted and ill-fitting. Quoting an example…
The bathing and sandaas area were separate but common for all.
I mean, seriously, why “sandaas?!”
The narrative voice remains the single most concerning factor. It abruptly shifts from the third person to the first and back again. There is a lot of head-hopping, as there are random changes in the speaker. You are in one character’s head and suddenly you find yourself in another’s.
Domestic abuse is a highly sensitive topic. But Walk Away fails to generate pathos in the reader. It lacks apathy and is distant in approach.
Walk Away has been a disappointing read and I wish I had walked away from it.
Having said this, I am still hoping to read the author’s next book and hope it would be a better experience.
Wordsopedia Rating 1.4/5
|Title: Walk Away||Author: Anitha Padanattil|
|Publisher: Kindle||Publication date: 9 September 2022|
|Genre: Fiction–Literary||Format: Kindle|
|ASIN: B0BDV9DKLN||No. of Pages: 151|
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About the author
Anitha Padanattil is an aspiring writer whose love affair with the written word began at an early age. Being partial to experiments of the breakaway kind such as working in the textile industry, teaching schoolchildren, veering off to co-partner a small firm and finally back to where it all began, the journey has been long. Change as they say, is the mainstay of life. Why make it a humdrum affair?
Get in touch with the author on Facebook.