Here’s my take on A May December Relationship Past by Ananth Jayaram & Preeti Ramachandran.
‘A May December Relationship’ by India’s first Husband-wife co-authors in fiction genre.
Anita Mehra is an ambitious, authoritative and independent woman from an affluent family. Neel Iyer is a devoted husband and an affectionate father. He is also insecure, childish and lacking in drive. She is six years older than him. They have an unconventional marriage, to say the least.
Pradeep, Anita’s former colleague, who was once madly in love with her, manipulates his way into their lives. Anita clubs their 10th wedding anniversary celebrations with a work assignment, designed by Pradeep to bring her to his home turf.
Does level-headed Anita give in to Pradeep’s charms? Does the past come to haunt Neel and Anita and rock their marriage? One thing leads to another and they find the most unexpected snags lurking in the background. The irony of the startling revelation at the end will only raise more questions.
Written together by Ananth Jayaram and Preeti Ramachandran, A May December Relationship delves into the depths of love, heartbreaks, sorrows, joys, family, and emotions.
The story revolves around the oddly married couple—oddly because the female protagonist is older than the male protagonist—of a North Indian wife and a South Indian husband, Neel Iyer and Anita Mehra.
Anita is later called by her old friend Pradeep Nair for a program, which he is holding in his own resort in Kerala, where she has to encourage a group of divorcees, as she is a successful marriage counselor.
Here’s where the story begins. Anita goes there with her parents and two daughters, waiting for Neel to join them later. As the book proceeds, we see that there are two different stories going parallel—one part is written in the odd-numbered chapters (the story of Anita and Neel), and the second part is written in the even-numbered chapters (the story of ‘he’ and ‘she’, as the protagonists aren’t named).
The sequences then unveil many things as we read on, where Anita meets a divorcee who plays a major role in the story. Who is that person? Are the two stories running parallel interrelated? Who are ‘he’ and ‘she’ in the story? To find out, you need to read the book.
Now let’s talk about the way the book is written.
The storytelling is fascinating and the language used is lucid. I finished the book in one go, it was an unputdownable read.
I was aware of the things that would happen ahead—I wasn’t aware of the climax though—but still I wanted to read more of it. It’s a short book, but again, nowhere does it feel that it’s slowing down. Although in some places, I felt that the sequences didn’t conclude well and were left abrupt.
Speaking about the description of the resort: Wow. The description of the resort is so magnificent and picturesque, that I felt an urge to visit the place immediately. Never would it feel that the resort could have been described in lesser words. The way it’s written is absolutely noteworthy. One extra point to the authors for that.
The book speaks about love, family issues, problems of life, heartbreaks, depression, emotions, and bonding. The effort done while writing the plot is visible and applaudable.
I’m again holding back from revealing the climax, but I’d definitely say this is a different read.
I would like to give this book 4 stars out of 5.
The cover is beautiful and goes with the title. And the title goes with the book too.
The book is written and edited well; however, there are many places where the authors have used passive voice where unnecessary, which could have been reduced.
Also, the story in the even-numbered chapters lacked a bit in storytelling. I was connected to it, but I wanted to skip a few sentences, as some things were repetitive.
Overall, A May December Relationship is a book worth a read, and provides a beautiful story.
Thank you and regards,