Book Reviews by a Pioneer: Rewriting My Happily Ever After by Ranjani Rao

Genre: Memoirs

My rating: *****

Life does not always follow a pre-determined path – it is unpredictable at best. Life also continues its march – with or without you. You, too, can make a choice – wallow in sorrow or move on.

Ranjani was married to an expat Indian, living in USA, through an arranged marriage. She looked forward to a life with a loving husband, have children, pursue her higher studies, and be a successful professional.

Her dreams crashed – her husband was not interested in her life or her achievements. She miscarried, lost hopes of having a child. Her husband blamed her for this unfortunate event in her life, at a time when she most needed his emotional support. Miracles do happen, and a few years later she had a successful pregnancy. Shreya, her daughter, came into her life. She also completed her studies and took up a job.

Her relationship with her husband did not improve. She felt suffocated. They shifted back to India, and one evening, fearing for her life, she moved out of his house with her daughter. This was unheard of in the social milieu that she had been brought up in.

Ranjani chose to rediscover her life. The next few years were her efforts to stand up on her own as a single parent, and a career woman. She struggled even through routine activities – opening a bank account, getting her daughter admitted to school, renting and then buying her own house. She finally decided to seek divorce – and continue to move ahead in life.

The beauty of the book is that the words speak to you. You feel the pain, anguish, and bitterness of Ranjani; and then you root for her, as she successfully navigates her life through the maize of emotions, and comes out successful.

The book is a personal account, writing about which would need courage. Ranjani not only displays that courage of conviction, but also conveys a strong message to anyone going through adversities – this too shall pass, just hold on.

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