Monday, April 11, 2016

What they're saying about The Face At The Window

" While she makes you laugh before, don't miss letting her frighten you now! ...."
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"Manral may have very well pioneered the 'Himalayan Gothic' genre ..."

Title: The Face at the Window
Author: Kiran Manral
Publisher: Amaryllis
Pages: 245
Price: Rs.250

Could there be anything common between the elderly Anglo-Indians, usually women, who taught many of us of a certain age and background, and the mountains? An imposing presence for one, but also a sense of aloofness, of mysteries concealed. Putting together such a character and setting, and adding the most haunting ghosts (those of past loves), could well result in a chilling - and plaintive - tale.

And this is what Kiran Manral offers in her fourth novel - a dark brooding story of mysterious, concealed identities, consequences of lack of familial bonding and support, of unsuitable and unsustainable loves, of the burdens of the past and its regrets, of toxic secrets, and the twilight of a life lived fully but not very happily.

Add to that the first throes of adolescent infatuation, characters with private agendas or harbouring their own secrets, a case or two of spirit possession, human remains being unearthed and a "malevolent" visitation, and Manral may have very well pioneered the "Himalayan Gothic" genre - with the majestic and silent mountains serving as an adequate substitute for the old, atmospheric mansions.

The story is told from the viewpoint of retired school teacher Mrs McNally, living alone in a small town in the Himalayan foothills at the fag end of her life, and wondering whether she should or not reveal the devastating secrets she has been carrying long about her estranged daughter Millie and grand daughter Nina to them.

Though she has been typing out an account of her life, she keeps it hidden. And then late one night she is woken - while a violent rainstorm rages - by what seems a rap on her window, but can't see any one, even after opening it and looking outside.

But then there is another flash of lightning and then "a face stared at me from the window, pressed against the sheet of glass. A face that seemed disturbingly familiar... A face with glistening, red eyes that pierced right through me, she stood there... suspended in mid-air" since the window overlooks a sheer drop.

It is right from then, her life slowly starts spiralling out of control. Not only does this malevolent entity come into the house and tries to kill her, it possesses a young local girl living nearby, as well as (briefly) Nina, who also senses the presence.
Why does this malevolent presence seek to do harm to her, and whose skeleton is it that is uncovered near their cottage during digging to lay new water lines? On the other hand, was it a mistake to accept the young personable doctor's offer to drive down her granddaughter to school, and is the writer, who has rented the cottage behind and driven to her one thundery night to seek refuge, what he seems to be? And what are the devastating secrets Mrs. McNally hidden all her life?
 
It is all these questions that are slowly unpeeled, layer by layer, in this complex tale, which is by turns, spine-chillingly spooky, and other times, heart-wrenching, but always rendered in Manral's expressive and evocative language.
 
Be it the similes - "memories as thick as molasses and as bitterly sweet" - or vivid descriptions that instill a sense of apprehension - "..lightning jagged virulently, splitting the skies into an apocalyptic chiaroscuro of light and shade, of hope and despair, a mottled landscape of an alien world beyond the clouds where lives were not mortal and death was not final" or ".. there was a disturbing quiet in the house. Or as much quiet as these old houses can have, before something wakes them up again in the dead of the night... a sense of disquiet with the tree brushing its leaves against the roof, like a lover's lingering touch, even after the goodbyes have been said ..", the author always holds you entranced - right to the inevitable end.
 
This dark tale of the psyche, relationships and the need to belong is totally different from Manral's previous four books - three novels and an account-cum-manual of child-rearing that "out-Bombecks" Erma - but no less engrossing. While she makes you laugh before, don't miss letting her frighten you now!
--By Vikas Datta, IANS

Order your copy here: http://goo.gl/RBpDOa

 
Copyright © 2016 Kiran Manral, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this mail because you are in my email contacts. Should you wish to opt out of this mailing list, do let me know and will remove you pronto. Thank you and have a great day.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Are you ready to get terrified?

The Face At The Window
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Hello,
Just a quick note to let you know that my fifth book, The Face At The Window, will be released end of this month. This book is being published by Amaryllis.
Here's something more about the book and the pre-order link.
I do hope it intrigues you enough to click the link.
Happy reading.


What if, at the end of one's life, one realizes one has lived out a lie?


Mrs McNally, a retired school teacher, living alone in a cottage at the foothills of the Himalayas, has secrets that if revealed could shatter the two people she cares about the most, her daughter Millie and her granddaughter Nina.
Torn by her desire to reveal the truth that could change Millie's life, and the need to let things continue as they are, Mrs McNally grapples not just with ghosts from her past, but also a strange, vicious presence in her house that seems to want something from her. Will she ever find the peace that eludes her, will she be rid of this entity haunting her house and, more importantly, will she find closure? A gently nuanced, layered story that deals with the lack of identity and an eternal finding of self, The Face at the Window holds a mirror to the fears we are all afraid to voice, the fear of ageing, the fear of not belonging, and above all, the fear of having no one to love you at the end of your life.
Click here to go to the Amazon Pre Order Link
 
Copyright © 2016 Kiran Manral, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this mail because you are in my email contacts. Should you wish to opt out of this mailing list, do let me know and will remove you pronto. Thank you and have a great day.

Our mailing address is:
Kiran Manral
*****
Mumbai ****
India

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Guess what made it into the top 5 parenting books of 2015?

In The Sunday Guardian. The Top Five Parenting Books of 2015.
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Hello,
We're in 2016, and here's wishing you a fabulous year ahead.
One of the best things the New Year brought me was this article on the second day of the New Year.
Karmic Kids was included in a list of the top 5 Parenting books of 2015, and I am embarrassed to say I was terribly chuffed about it.
Here's what they had to say about Karmic Kids.


Books that give you the lowdown on good parenting

By KORAL DASGUPTA | | 2 January, 2016
In 2015, books on parenting were given plenty of shelf space in India. Koral Dasgupta rediscovers five of the best books on parenting by Indian authors, and lists the lessons learnt.
"If you are bored of all the "gyan" and want to breathe free, and yet feel drawn to the same parenting chaos endlessly and suffocatingly, it's time for you to lap up Kiran Manral's Karmic Kids, which by her own admission is an account of "laid back parenting."
The book is an intelligent and hilarious take on parenting blues and advocates one simple thought to all super-moms and super-dads. Take it easy! There are many sticky moments in life when things assume too much importance because of peer pressure or the self-dictated benchmarks you have burdened yourself with! Manral picks those up, year by year till the kids turn ten, and addresses them with humour. From your body and mind, to those of others in the family, the helps, the baby blues, growing demands for theme parties you are clueless about, and many other issues crop up and settle themselves in the printed pages.
As you read the book you would probably laugh at yourself thinking of those moments when simple or silly ambitions that you had set with yourself or with the baby managed to unnerve you considerably and you behaved as if you are someone else. Karmic Kids will stand by you and support those moments. It will assure you that everything is fair in love, war and parenting!"


Here's
the link to the article, and there are four other wonderful books on parenting included in it that would be great reads too.

Have you read Karmic Kids yet? If you haven't and you would like to, here's the link to order it, or any of my other books.

Have a great day.

Warm regards,
Kiran

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Kiran Manral, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this mail because you are in my email contacts. Should you wish to opt out of this mailing list, do let me know and will remove you pronto. Thank you and have a great day.

Our mailing address is:
Kiran Manral
*****
Mumbai ****
India

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

In which All Aboard makes it to a top ten list

All Aboard at #2 on Butterfly & the Bee's top ten list for 2015
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If you haven't read it yet, here's where you can order your copy:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Jigp9q
Kindle: http://amzn.to/1EffBmF
Both my books also came in for a special mention in a year end round up of the best of 2015 by IANS.
"Fiction would include William Boyd's panoramic and enthralling "Sweet Caress: The Many Lives of Amory Clay", Kunal Basu's searing "Kalkatta", Kiran Manral's frothy but subtly different romance "All Aboard", Anuja Chandramouli's refreshingly new take on primordial Hindu goddesses in "Shakti: The Feminine Divine", Pakistani Omar Shahid Hamid's jihadi noir "The Spinner's Tale", for a chilling portrayal of a terrorist mindset and Bangladeshi Saad Z. Hossein's inventive black farce "Escape from Baghdad – A Novel".

Two Indian writers who needed to be singled out were the subversively witty Kiran Manral, whose comedy of manners of globetrotting Indians was followed by an endearing account of motherhood in "Karmic Kids: The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You!", and the versatile Sharath Komarraju, who produced a sexual abuse whodunnit, a Mughal murder mystery starring Birbal and the second volume of his Mahabharata retelling through the Kuru women's eyes…."

Read the original here

Copyright © 2016 Kiran Manral, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this mail because you are in my email contacts. Should you wish to opt out of this mailing list, do let me know and will remove you pronto. Thank you and have a great day.

Our mailing address is:
Kiran Manral
*****
Mumbai ****
India

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