TITLE: The Ruby Iyer Diaries ( Ruby Iyer Series, #0.5)
AUTHOR: Laxmi Hariharan
Content: Starting at age ten and ending at sixteen these series of short vignettes give us an insight into Ruby’s character and her journey from a child of ten to a teen and continues till she reaches the threshold of adulthood.
Ruby is the normal girl on the threshold of teenage years when the novella begins. Adventurous, impulsive, rebellious and confused, she is unable to understand the restrictions imposed on her by her mother nor the queer look and behaviour of Dr Poonawala aka PW a child psychologist attending to her.She’s one looking to get the attention of her mom and trying to come to terms with the physical and emotional changes taking place within.
Later on becoming a teen we see her metamorphose into a young girl who still pines for her mother’s love and when that’s not forthcoming seeks solace in getting it elsewhere. Having been educated in a convent she feels out-of-place in the co-ed college she enters at age sixteen and goes through the usual turmoil associated with children of her age. In short she is seen constantly warring with herself.
Interesting, insightful and realistic, one can easily relate to the inner turmoil, insecurities and rebellious nature of Ruby Iyer a girl made constantly aware of the fact that she is a girl, one not her mother’s pet nor her choice. The story has some light moments that are sure to transport the reader to his/ her growing years. In fact one may often find a reflection of oneself in Ruby and her actions and reactions.
Characterization: The character of Ruby is well-developed and easy to comprehend.
Pace & Language: Pace is smooth and steady. Language is simple, lucid and crisp.
Content: Though the title says, ‘The Ruby Iyer Diaries’ this one felt more like a memoir rather than some diary jottings that are generally in the nature of musings and are raw. There’s a lot packed in the fourteen short chapters that make up this novelette.Yet I felt there was something missing. It seemed incomplete, vague and disconnected at places. But then could be because it’s a prequel to ‘The Ruby Iyer Series’one not meant as a standalone.
A short enjoyable read, one that makes understanding teenagers easier, I give the novelette 3 on a scale of 5.
A one-time journalist with The Independent, Laxmi Hariharan has published fast paced action thrillers with a dash of romance and a touch of the fantastical such as the multi award winning The Ruby Iyer Series. Featured among the top five women in media in India Today, Laxmi also blogs for the Huffington Post. She has written for The Guardian and has been featured in many publications including The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Telegraph and Verve.
A Bombayite by birth, Laxmi lives in London, where she writes while listening to electronica and is an avid street art photographer. She is also the proud owner of a mononym Twitter handle @laxmi