Publication Date: May 2010
Format: Paperback, 432 pgs
Source: Personal Library
As the title suggests, this story is about forbidden love. However, it is not your typical love story about a couple being cast aside by their friends and family but is instead taken on a more seriously and taboo note - a brother's and sister's "special" love for each other. In other words, this is called incest and though it is not an easy read, I find it even harder to write a review on it due to its subject. Despite this, I told myself to keep an open mind before reading it and I was glad I did read it in the end.
Lochan is seventeen and he is a quiet and shy boy. Maya is sixteen and like her elder brother, they are both responsible young adults who take care of their three younger siblings since their mother is an alcoholic and is always not at home most of the times. Thus one would never think of their close relationship as being unnatural given their family's circumstances and the fact that they are sharing their time and efforts in looking after their siblings, hoping that the family would not fall apart or worse, having their younger siblings being taken away by Social Services.
While reading this book, I find it hard to point fingers on either Lochan or Maya because no matter how wrong their feelings for each other is, their love for each other is genuine and one could feel it through their dialogues and the caring thoughts they have for each other. It is not like they wanted this to happen but it just happened that they often feel they are more like soul mates than siblings, and they wished life is simple and not complicated like the world is. Initially, they have tried hard to keep their feelings for each other in a brotherly and sisterly way, but as the days go by they both knew it is impossible to deny their feelings for each other and the only thing they can do is to keep a low profile. But how could their relationship last given their relations and it is only a matter of time that it would be exposed and at what consequences it would be if that happens?
Despite the taboo and sensitivity of the issue, Tabitha Suzuma has written an excellent story about the forbidden love between Lochan and Maya and the difficulties and dilemma they faced through their narratives in alternate chapters. I had wondered how the author would end this book and after reading till its last page, I just couldn't describe how I felt to this point but yet I also felt there is no other (better?) (Perhaps the word 'better' is wrong but I couldn't find any words to describe how it is) way to end the story as it is. This is one of those books that would linger in your mind for a long time and should anyone ask me about a book I find it emotional and/or unforgettable now or after, this is it.
Note: Not suitable for younger readers.