Book Review: My Land Across the Border

About the Book:
Siraj discovers a dark secret lurking in his family’s past, which he must unravel to reconstruct the truth about his own identity and roots. Destiny leads Siraj to the land where he was born, to uncover the secret of his family’s past that lay buried within the annals of its history. Mrinal, on the other hand undertakes a trip to Bangladesh as the journey of his lifetime: a land which he had had to leave behind amidst the fire of communal violence in 1950, post the Partition of India.

I had been wanting to read this book much before the Blogchatter A2Z Challenge had started. Being interested in stories of partition, the theme of the book had intrigued me. I had made a mental note of following the series of blogs for this, however, due to certain reasons couldn’t continue. I’m glad that many, many days later, finally I have, today completed reading what is Sayan Bhattacharya’s third book!

The book is a thought-provoking tale of partition and a family’s well-kept secret based on true events. From the onset, the element of suspense is established and the same makes the reader wanting to delve further into the tale with a yearning to know the truth. Without giving out more details, I would like to continue with the review by sharing my thoughts regarding the following four elements of the book –

Tone and Language – The book follows mostly a narrative, second-person tone. The language is easy to understand and animated. There are a few instances, where you get to read Bengali dialogues. The vivid description made the scenes come alive and I could almost picture the setting. Be it the description of a bazaar or the details of the sea on which sailed the SS2. It was delightful to experience what the characters felt through the vivid descriptions of the setting.

Character Development – The characters and the bonds that they share deserve a special mention. It was commendable to see how the character sketch was kept consistent all across the chapters which enabled me to build a connect with them. Be it the protagonist, Siraj or his aunt, Rehana. I could relate with the character and their individual stories. The author has done a great job at maintaining the suspense by revealing only what is needed to be revealed at a specific time about the characters – An essential element of good storytelling.

Plot Twist – Beginning from chapter 1, the suspense is built and finally when the secret is revealed, it leaves me disturbed for a while and can almost feel the anguish that the char character must’ve felt. The author says that the book is based on true events and I’m sure it is with elements of fiction too. But, on reading it, it will be tough to say which part is fiction and which one is true! The attention to detail is brilliant. 

Final Verdict – If you’re someone who take a keen interest in knowing about the roots of your family and if suspense intrigues you, this book is for you! Nostalgia, strong emotions, the feeling of living a long-cherished wish and oh yes, also vivid description of food 😉 will surely ensure an enjoyable read!

I would like to congratulate Mr. Sayan Bhattacharya for successfully completing his 3rd novel and for giving us a wonderful story to read. It was quite a riveting journey of many discoveries with Siraj, Zayed, Mrinal and Jayanta.

Click here to download the book for free!

My heart goes out to those families who have suffered the atrocities during partitions. I wish they can visit their hometowns in their lifetime and relive the memories of their childhood. I had once written about such atrocities in a blog post once, you can read about the same here – From the Dawn of Childhood to the Dusk of Survival

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