New Five-Star Review for The Other Shore
Reviewed By Jose Cornelio for Readers’ Favorite
The Other Shore: Ordinary People Grappling with Extraordinary Challenges by Madhu Bazaz Wangu is a collection of short stories with an appeal to readers with different tastes — Magical Realism, Women’s Fiction, Multi-cultural, Romance, and Inspirational. Told in varying and gripping voices, the stories feature interesting characters in different situations as they navigate through real-life situations, grappling with realities of death, love, protecting nature, making a difference, being human, and more.
While we might not have the space to go through each of the stories in this review, there are characters that will capture the attention of readers like ten-year-old Mohini who has a strong relationship with her grandparents. This relationship leads her to appreciate the cycle of life and to learn lessons that follow her as she grows up and attends college. The truth that we all must walk alone for our final journey hits her powerfully. Valakya has a vivid dream as a young man and follows a path that will change not just his life but that of many, and he eventually finds solace in the thought that the way one lives is the way one dies, a lesson of many decades. There are many such stories with life lessons.
Each story features strong and well-developed themes, from death to spiritual awakening, from protecting nature to falling in love. The writing is crisp and descriptive and Madhu Bazaz Wangu shifts between the first-person and third-person narrative voices, employing a storytelling skill that keeps the reader with the character and experiencing many “Wow” moments at some of the revelatory passages. The author uses dreams to communicate themes of magical realism, creating a link between the visible and the invisible, while creating spaces where characters can pursue their deepest desires. These short stories are cleverly plotted, each written in a unique manner and with a strong voice, each conveying a strong message to the reader. The characters are real and fleshed out and readers can easily find themselves in them. The Other Shore will entertain readers and invite them to ponder on some of the realities of life.