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Reviewed by Benjamin Ookami for Readers' Favorite
Silver Haze by Pankaj Varma is the tale of an Indian woman's unwillingness to let her precious life's memories slip away because of dementia. Thus Kamala's story, which takes readers through many important historical events as well, is told in three different books which cover different aspects of Kamala's life. Having grown up in Punjab, many life-altering decisions had been made by Kamala's immediate family members without even bothering to find out how she might feel about it. The education she would get is one of them and another involves a traditionally arranged marriage. While they have been mostly friends, something could've happened between Kamala and Suresh if there weren't so many rules to abide by. Can a future decided by others lead to real happiness?
In Kamala's life up until her marriage, which takes place in Book 1, the author sets up many points for her and Suresh to be together in one scene. The author made me believe that fate wanted their relationship to evolve from friendship into something more, but at the same time it was obvious that the author also didn't want to make it possible for them. By the time Kamala gets married, Suresh sort of takes a background seat while Kamala truly starts loving her husband. Then, all of a sudden, Suresh is back. For me, the author presented me with conflicting feelings. My enjoyment of this chronicle of a fictitious Indian woman's life by Pankaj Varma came accompanied with worry for the protagonist's marriage.
The author took me through three stages of Kamala's life and I loved how everything came full circle. I thought Suresh was the ingredient that made this novel interesting. This book has the potential to be one that readers, if perhaps asked to recommend a women's fiction novel set in Punjab, would quickly recommend.