Book Review of “The Red Diary” Neelam Saxena Chandra




Book Review by Megha Sood

“Red Diary” is a riveting and deep exposition of the entire spectrum of human emotions ranging from love, desire, hatred, revenge, thrill, and mystery. It has all the elements of a successful and good novel worth reading from cover to cover.

I love the way the story has been divided into different parts narrating the different times in the life of the protagonist Rihaan. How the first part deals with the crisp character introductions and the narration and his varied emotions. The relations between the protagonists and the other characters in the novel are also clearly and brilliantly defined.

The second part of the story, which is one of my favorite parts,  brings out more characters and the stories behind them. I love how the different characters add to the flavor of the novel by not taking away the attention from the story of the main character “Rihaan”. I loved the realistic portrayal of the characters and also the lucid language used in defining them.

I am very intrigued how the author has beautifully juxtaposed the different emotions of the love (one between Ketan and Supriya ) and the unrequited love between Rihan and Shivi, the desiring love between Ina and Rihaan. The middle part also tells and concludes the story of the star-crossed lovers ( Rihann and Ina) and also adds the element of mystery and intrigue to the mix following the sudden death of Ina and the events which unfold after that. How Ina falls prey to the greed of success and fame and becomes entangled in the flesh business which ultimately leads to her murder.

The riveting story in the novel comes full circle in the third part of the novel, where the protagonist finally comes to know about the life of his parents and the reason to be in the orphanage. Through the protagonist’s story, the novelist has marvelously expressed the varied emotions of the human heart and the trial and the tribulations in one’s life which propels oneself to the path of success, as what happened in the case of Rihan and how he ended up being a successful tennis player. I loved the happy ending of the story where love and faith win over every possible struggle.

If I have to sum up in one line I would say that “Red Diary is a beautiful exposition of human emotions in all its entirety with a beautiful ending.”

–Megha Sood

Neelam Saxena Chandra works as an Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Pune. She is an Engineering graduate from VNIT and has done her Post Graduation Diploma in IM&HRD and also in Finance. She has completed a summer course in Finance from London School of Economics. She has authored 5 novels, 1 novella and 6 short story collections, 31 poetry collections and 13 children’s books to her credit. She is a bilingual writer; writing in English and Hindi. She holds a record with the Limca Book of Records -2015 for being the Author having the highest number of publications in a year in English and Hindi. She has won II prize in a poetry contest organized by American Embassy and in a National poetry contest organized by Poetry Council of India, 2016. She has received, Sohanlal Dwivedi Puraskar for children’s literature by Maharashtra state Hindi Sahitya Akademi for the year 2018, Humanity International Women Achiever Awards 2018, Bharat Nirman Literary award in 2017, Premchand award by Ministry of Railways, Rabindranath Tagore International Poetry award, Soninder Samman, Freedom award by Radio city for Lyrics along with other awards and honors. She was listed in Forbes as one among 78 most popular authors in the country in 2014.  

Her short story collection “Lines of Fate” remained in the top 10 on bestsellers list on Amazon (India) since its release and was under no 3 on new hot releases for almost a month. “Kai Basant dekhe hain main” a poetry collection was No 1 and received the bestseller tag from Amazon. She has just launched her illustrated book for children titled “Naughty Slippers”. Her novel “The Red Diary” is available on Amazon.

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