Life is what you make it is a masterpiece by Preeti Shenoy, published in the year of 2013, which is described as “a story of love, hope and how determination can overcome even destiny”.
It’s a story of a girl named Ankita Sharma who struggles through her emotions in her early 20s and suffers from a mental illness named Bipolar Disorder. The story begins with the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. The author perfectly sets the tone by introducing Ankita in the psychiatrist’s office. When she said,
“I feel trapped, cornered, exasperated and suddenly very tired”,
we get a hint of her mental state and the mood of the reader gets set to get started with her story.
Ankita’s family portrays a typical conservative Indian society in the 19th century, where strict parents don’t allow a girl to go outside. She falls in love with a guy and they promise to continue a long-distance relationship. Ankita started to excel in her college but gradually grew her feelings toward another guy named Abhi. They spend years together, as the author develops her character gradually. Ankita grabs the chance to study in a reputed institute in Bombay, but we get a sudden shock when Abhi commits suicide. The incident hit her badly, but she managed to keep herself busy in the busy lifestyle in Bombay. The readers find her sudden excellence in all aspects a little bit strange. We come to know about her bipolar disorder, when she falls deep down in a world of depression, she feels “blindfolded from behind”. The next few pages will guide the reader through the struggle of a person suffering from severe mental trauma. Her parents’ improper actions to solve this issue signifies our ignorance towards mental health. Fortunately, Ankita gets the required treatment and starts ‘feeling alive again.’
What I loved
With a fluid writing style, Preeti Shenoy proves why she’s one of the most celebrated writers in India. The struggle of a person suffering from Bipolar Disorder has been penned down beautifully.
This book is a must-read even in the year 2020, as there’s a lack of awareness of mental health in India.
What could be improved
I felt that the characters other than Ankita were not developed properly. Though the entire story revolves around her the inclusion of the viewpoints of the other characters would make it better. Other than that it’s worth a read for all the book-lovers.
I’m rating this book 4 out of 5. Hope you all enjoyed the review. I’ll regularly post about the review of various books and movies. Don’t forget to follow my blog.