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The Face at the Window Kindle Edition
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 grand daughter 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.
About the Author
- ASIN : B01MU76UMJ
- Publisher : Amaryllis (21 March 2016)
- Language : English
- File size : 977 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 220 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #56,972 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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After reading 100+ books every year for the last few years, I have realized that what I look for in every novel that I read is a good story. Don’t get me wrong—I love language; it is what I breathe, caress, memorize, underline and write down in my journal, but it all vaporizes in the absence of a good story. Opinions differ, and I know many readers who can sacrifice the pleasure of a good story just to be enchanted in the arms of beautiful prose. That’s not me! However, if you give me a book that has a unique plot narrated by a master storyteller in the most delightful language, you turn me into a fan of the author. That’s exactly what I found in ‘The Face at the Window’—a grasping tale told in stunning prose.
‘Memories are the kind of elusiveness that shift, change form, and remodel themselves by the second.’
‘Smiley face icons cannot hope to replace words thought out carefully in order to put a smile on the other person’s face, the sharpness or the laxity of the handwriting telling stories about the frame of mind of the writer, the smudges on the sheets of paper telling their own stories, blotches where tears might have fallen, hastily scratched out words where another would have been more appropriate, stories that the writer of the letter might not have intended to communicate.’
The story revolves around Mrs. McNally and her autobiography. Though she is penning it to reveal certain truths to her daughter Millie and granddaughter Nina, she is still unsure of the wisdom of her decision. Meanwhile, the remains of an old dead body turn up and her elusive peace is shattered once again.
‘Things went on in the same cyclical loop, spinning on towards a great cataclysm that would sweep things up into the dustbin of time, whether through an atomic war of our creation or a meteoroid coming in from space and slamming into our planet. Our civilisations and destinies and stories would be wiped out, leaving us as pure, etheric souls, rising into another level of consciousness, another existence.’
Kiran builds a thick smoky atmosphere by placing the story in a hill town with its tea estates, workers, nosy neighbours, idiosyncratic characters, mists and ghosts. I am happy that Kiran Manral departed from her earlier genres to write such an absorbing page-turner. The book made me wonder about the definition of ‘literary fiction’ and after some research, this is what I found:
• Literary fiction is ‘serious’ fiction (Oh! Really? Genre novels are not?)
• The cover looks different (That’s crazy!)
• The title is different (That’s even crazier!)
• The story is more ‘meaningful’ (HaHa… Now, this is getting funny!)
• Character is more important than plot (When nothing happens to interesting characters, there is no story. Do you mean literary novels can do away with story? Or do you mean that when you have a story, you aren’t literary?)
• Fine writing is necessary (Does that mean genre fiction does not require fine writing? Please try telling that to my editor.)
The truth is that the line between genres is thin and it is easy to stereotype a book and an author in a particular category. Anyway, since this is a review of the book and not a rant about my woes, I will stop here.
The Face at the Window is a most enjoyable read for anyone who loves a spooky, gripping story narrated with style and panache.
This book could be put in one quote by Haruki Murakami:
'Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting.'
Kiran has done a fantastic job of blending 'pahadi' (mountain) ghost stories that she heard from time to time into a story that grips the heart strings for two different reasons . The emotional core gives the story a push while the paranormal aspect keeps it hauntingly going.
The past is never where you left it. The story begins with that essence. A forward into nothingness but heart wrenching agony. The effect of the story is so overwhelmingly real you feel as if you were with the protagonist in the bungalow at that moment. You can feel the smell of the earth, the trees and the entire description of the house, the landscape and the weather gets into your imagination in real time proportions.
The story gets better as it rolls forward ' reminding you what was mentioned in the first chapter itself ' the face at the window. The story wraps itself emotionally and frightfully with equal measure until the end. You just have a roller coaster ride of the frightful experiences that the protagonist undergoes.
What's the message of the book??
If you hear the past speaking to you, feel it tugging up your back and running its fingers up your spine, the best thing to do-the only thing-is run. And yeah' while you're running order the book from Amazon. It is worth all the effort'
The book wins because the story is told so well.
I am haunted.
Every time I think of the book, I think of Mrs. McNally - the Masterni protagonist - who is suspended in a very gripping war between the horrors of life, those of beyond and the battle between both, amidst the swift descend of reality.
Written in a poetic and haunting prose, Kiran Manral takes you through the mist and mystery of the mountainside and into the myth of beyond the grave. You wander there for a while, grabbing at trellises, trying to find your way back to the living, to put the pieces together. Mrs. McNally's feelings of terror, guilt and loneliness are all your own.
You wonder - when people die, do they leave behind graves or ghosts? Sometimes, both.
The Face at The Window will have you reminiscing and grasping at revelations long after you've turned the last page and felt the chill finally leave your bones.
Do people harbour secrets or are they haunted by them?
This rivetingly haunting and beautiful tale by Kiran Manral is a must read!