Publication Date: October 23rd 2016
Publisher: Notion Press, Inc.
Genres: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Medical
Part of Series? No
Source: Won in Giveaway
Goodreads Blurb: “Now look at the person in the mirror and tell her that you love her.”
Sanjaneka stared and stared, unable to utter the simple words aloud.
Why is Sanjaneka unable to love herself? What past is she running away from?
How does an Uber ride help Samar to save his marriage?
Why does the dull moonlight of a gibbous moon trouble Varun so much?
Three lives. One Utopian centre.
The Total Holistic Centre (The THC) welcomes the broken and those looking for closure through its doors and works its magic to return them to the world fulfilled. This is the story of these three troubled souls who seek solace at the centre, indulge in its unusual treatment and find the cures to their ailments in surprising places.
A book on loss, longing and changing circumstances, The THC dives into uncomfortable topics that are usually swept under the rug: fragile relationships, deteriorating marriages, addictions, impotence, and the delicate bond between fathers and sons.
Welcome to the THC.
** Note: This review may contain sections inappropriate for young readers
Introduction & Plot
I won this book in a giveaway so I had no idea what this book was about (Yes I just enter randomly sometimes 😛 ). I just saw the opportunity to grab the book and I did. But the main reason why I decided to enter the giveaway in the first place was its title. Don’t you think the title is different and suspenseful?
Well, the THC stands for The Holistic Center. It’s a fictional center setup in the story where the broken hearts are cured, those looking for closure get insights and return to the world with repaired soul. Basically, they do the treatments for both physical and mental problems of the patient by some unique methods of their own. I don’t know about you, but it sounds a little too fictional to me, isn’t it?
There are three main characters in this book around whom the story revolves – Samar, Sanjaneka, and Varun. All of them are in their mid-forties (though the cover shows that they all are young). Each person has their own problems. Samar is a chain smoker and going through impotence. Sanjaneka has Osteoporosis (pain in joints) and Genophobia (fear of sex). Varun was suffering through Insomnia and depression.
All three of them decides to come to THC for their treatment and meet there at a coffee table. The story then develops upon the past of each of them, as each one of them tells their story in a different manner. Will they be able to cover their fears? Will they overcome their weaknesses and return to the world happily? What are the dark secrets that all of them are hiding?
All the three main characters were built correctly and they portrayed our society (mainly the Indian society). They played their respective parts perfectly. As each of them were telling their own stories, you can easily get into their minds and can guess their emotions and can feel them. There were true to their stories. Each character was a person from our day-to-day life and no fictional ones.
After a long time I have read anything diferent by an Indian author. In general, I don’t find Indian books talking easily and so clearly about the topics like impotence, sexual relations, homosexuality etc. Even if there are any such scenes required in the story, they are often cut to the chase. But here, Manoj V Jain has not used such scenes easily but also have talked about them (offcourse not to the points of Eroticas), but in the right amount.
The writing is simple and to the point, making it a quick read.
The main thing that I liked about this book was the three different stories of three different persons, yet they were interconnected somehow. All those stories make you think twice about your decisions that you take randomly. Author has tried to give some lessons through the story of each one of them.
Samar: Samar was a chain smoker. Because of this habit he was suffering through mental depression and impotence. Now here, what one can take out of Samar’s story is that smoking and particularly the chain smoking can really be your life destroyer, if it is not cured permanently. Samar came to THC for his cure and after just a day of quitting smoking, he felt relaxed and refreshed. He also had the male ego because of which he had troubled relationship with her wife.
Sanjaneka: I really liked her name first of all. She was suffering for Osteoporosis and Genophobia. One bad incident led her to a path which she never imagined and turned her world upside down. One night, drinking too much, she did what she regreted her whole life. What I can conclude from this is whatever things you do in your life or make decisions, come back to you. It’s upto you to make it a mistake or blessing. Any event can turn the events of your life. Sometimes its not your fault, but you are bound to the outcomes.
Varun: I really liked the story of Varun . For the first time, I read about a homosexual affair by an Indian author. Varun was in a realtionship with his father’s friends’ son (or he thought he was). He was too young at that time to understand this flick. He had troubled relationship with his father, and now he had the same kind of relationship with his son. He always demanded the attentions from others. First, he wanted the attention of Jaiveer and now of his own son. His story don’t just tell you about the complicated relationships but also take you to the insight of the relation between parents and children in today’s world. Any troubled relationship can have a great impact on anyone’s life and thus the person can be affected by depression. This is exactly what happened to Varun.
What I liked
- The author openely talked about the sexual content and the troubled sexual realtionships of the characters.
- Each person’s story was different from the other and gave detailed description of their lives.
- The author has clearly portrayed the messages that he intended to give through the stories.
- Really neat and fast paced writing.
Things I didn’t like / wished would have been different
- I was disappointed by the ending. I didn’t expected the last encounter between Sanjaneka and Samar. It was difficult for me to understand how it was closure for them and how it helped them in their cure.
- Though it was great of the writer to openely write the sexual content, at some places it felt that ot wasn’t necessary. For eg, the discussion of Samar with his friends about their sexual lives. That whole conversation was pointless.
- I wanted the story to be a bit longer. Though it was pleasing and entertaining to read about the characters’ past, I wanted to know about their future too. I wanted to know how they have changed after their treatment in THC.
Final Thoughts and Impact
I enjoyed this book overall, though I has some issues. I liked the writing style of author and the way he presented the content. It was a one time read for me, with enjoyable plot but a little lack of after story.
Would Recommend To
- Adult readers
- Readers who want to read something different 😛
- Those interested in reading realistic fiction.
Have you read anything written by an Indian author on these topics? Have you read anything by Manoj V Jain?
Thanks for reading and stay connected! ♥