Posted on Goodreads.com
At the outset, let’s get one thing out of the way. A love story and numerous scenes featuring physical intimacy have become the staple of the chick-lit genre. I guess one tends to expect them too. But herein lies the strength of the book – it doesn’t have these. The protagonist Anu, is married (she loves the husband very much, so there’s none of the predictable ‘devilishly handsome ex-boyfriend showing up suddenly’ plot point usually employed in such cases).
The Crossover Year is a story about all the changes and transformations that take place in Anu’s life over a year. It also just so happens to be the year she turns 30, but thankfully, the author does not burden the story with too much of that angst. Anu is married to a wonderful man, so all the changes happen mainly in her work and social life. It explores a very real situation of young smart career women trying to cope with life and society when they can no longer be defined by their work. And it’s written effortlessly with just the right balance of humour and insight.
In short, this book is about Anu learning to cope with her job situation, celebrate herself, take chances and trust herself as she explores the unknown beyond the big 3-0.
As a resident myself, I loved the whole ‘Madras’ness of the story, the insights and idiosyncracies that we locals smirk self-effacingly about and outsiders find downmarket or just plain silly. Spencer Plaza. Sandwiches outside Alsa Mall. Tamil mega serials.
Personally, I’m looking forward to Bhargavi’s next book – every female character in this book has the possibility of having a novel of her own. Maybe one friend’s love story, maybe her neighbours life after separation, maybe another friend’s coming out of the closet.
The author has carved a niche where there’s more to chicklit than just love and lust. However, my suggestion to her is that if she’s steering clear of the love-sex-infidelity route, she could consider increasing the stakes to create greater conflict while keeping her unique effervescent writerly voice intact!