The Girl Who Couldn’t Love

October 1, 2017

An introverted, middle-aged spinster, Roo, or Rudrakshi Sen, lives with her mother and teaches English at a local school. Roo’s mother, semi-blind and a chronic invalid, lives most of the time in an imaginary world where she turns the grief of her husband’s death and their bizarre relationship into the belief that theirs was a happy, conventional marriage. Roo cultivates an aloof manner and distances herself from close relationships to stave off memories of her childhood and of Eeedee, the girl who entered her life as a six-year-old and left as a teenager—after one night that was to haunt and shape both their adult lives.

When Kumar, a man much younger than her, enters Roo’s life out of nowhere, she is intensely attracted to him—an attraction she believes is reciprocal. She begins an affair with this mysterious stranger, knowing that all affairs end messily. It is her secrets she wants to shield. But her secrets and this man are inextricably linked…

Shinie Antony’s sparse yet evocative prose gives strength to this haunting tale of twisted relationships.

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