The Storyteller's Secret book cover

"What if tradition is just an excuse
to keep things as they always have been?"
  Sejal Badani 

Like a matryoshka: secret and well-kept stories that fit together, and which are revealed page after page. It is well written, with such a narrative force that it can overwhelm you.

Reading time: 2 min

Sejal Badani faces love in all its forms: from love for sons and daughters to friendship, passing through romantic love. What makes the difference in this novel is the setting that moves between rural and indoctrinated India in 40s and contemporary India, more open to the world.

The story within the story is colonial India which tells, through the protagonist Amisha, the condition of women in those times, subject to machismo and a load of traditions that certainly did not favor women.
Amisha lives a comfortable and, at the same time, difficult life with her family and Ravi, her servant, to whom she is linked by a deep friendship.

Amisha's wealth only creates an illusion of happiness, a superficial stability that collapses in her soul where difficulties emerge. These difficulties define the difference between living and surviving. Freedom, true love and the possibility of existing as an autonomous individual guarantee a happy life. donna indiana con tipico abito nuzialeUnfortunately, Amisha sees these valors as if through a window during a trip, for her they are nothing but a landscape that escapes from under her eyes, leaving only memories.

Ravi is another great character, whose story finds space in the story of Amisha, just as in a matryoshka doll: if you open the first doll you discover another one inside it, you open that one and you find another one and so on, until seed that allowed these stories to grow, intertwine and thrive.

The seed from which everything is born is Jaya, Amisha's nephew and she also has a story. Jaya is fortunate to have been born in the United States, free from impositions and in times much more favorable to women. Her curiosity towards her origins, and towards an almost unknown family, will take her on a trip to contemporary India. It will be here that she will realize that everything she took for granted, including the right to be happy and free, is not at all.

This is a life lesson for everyone and is told to us with a bewitching sweetness.
The novel is full of desire to live, of drama, pain and love; but above all friendship and love are the protagonists, declined in all their aspects, dispersed between the lines like oxygen in the air and you can breathe them with your heart.

The characters meet and get lost, then find themselves, and they get together overcoming the boundaries of time and space, in a continuous becoming that makes its way towards the light.

The Storyteller's Secret has an intrinsic force that finds its energy in a positive reading of life and in the courage of action.
A novel written with talent and with an almost tangible passion. Overwhelming.

foto dell'autrice sejal Badani

Title: The Storyteller's Secret

Author: Sejal Badani
Pages: 399

Images in the article:
image 1: 
book cover from Sejal Badani website
image 2: Indian woman wears typical wedding dress; photo by Fateh Singh from Pixabay
image 3: author Sejal Badani


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