Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Review - Starry Nights by Shobhaa De

Starry Nights is a gripping page turner which gives you the feeling of watching a Bollywood movie. It tells the story of Aasha Rani, the ravishingly beautiful 'Sweetheart of Millions'. We see the vulnerability of a small town girl who pays a price to get where she is today. We get introduced to a lot of colourful characters surrounding her, including her scheming Amma, Akshay Arora, the reigning stud of 70mm and the object of Aasha Rani's desire, the Shethji, the don of the underworld under whose hallowed sheets her career is sealed, Kishenbhai the distributor who gives her the first break and his heart, Linda the manipulative journalist who deceives her into friendship and much more, Sudha, her younger sister whose envy and hate of her sister's success makes her Aasha Rani's worst enemy.

In the second half of the book, we are also introduced to more characters like Jamie (Jay) Phillips, Gopalakrishnan, Shonali and more is revealed of Appa, the father whom she had hated initially. I would not like to reveal more about these characters as it would take out the fun of reading the novel as it is with the arrival of some of these characters that Aasha Rani's story takes a major twist.

The plot is interesting enough to keep the reader engrossed and guessing till the last page. The novel gives a peek into the lives of the Bollywood stars and the harsh reality of the movie world. It definitely makes us wonder if these are reality and whether the lives of the stars are not as blissful as in the movies. Aasha Rani's character is that of a strong woman but somehow she fails to get sympathy in some of the situations. A lot of hindi phrases are scattered throughout the book which may make it difficult to follow for the non Hindi speakers.

Go for this one if you are one who loves watching good masala packed Bollywood movies as Starry Nights will keep you guessing and turning the pages as you simply have to know what happens next!

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