V. Dublado Gives 5 Stars to The Other Shore
Reviewed By Vincent Dublado for Readers’ Favorite
Twenty stories are told under six different themes that fuse art, spirituality, and existential angst. Madhu Bazaz Wangu, by her own account, reveals that she has written The Other Shore: Ordinary People Grappling with Extraordinary Challenges because she wants you, as the reader, to grow intellectually and be emotionally touched by her tales. Her stories bridge inner and outer realities: the reality of what we say and what we think and feel. The women in this book are remarkably spirited and the men exist to find out more about themselves. The Other Shore tells the story of Mohini and how the seasons she spent with her grandparents have filled her heart with their love. In Dowry Brides, a feature story about a dowry demand makes a narrator angry and inspired at the same time. Chance Acquaintance tells about a friendship that develops between a Japanese professor and his Indian tour guide. And then there is Unrequited Love, about a man who cannot marry the woman he loves because he is taking care of his ailing mother full time.
The Other Shore showers you with aesthetic pleasures by allowing you to examine the cross-cultural experience. Madhu Bazaz Wangu’s tales are filled with physically vigorous and mentally vital moments that exist in the now. Her narration has strong leanings in establishing identity, and her conversational style makes you feel relaxed as if you are getting acquainted with the characters face to face. I cannot help but feel moved by the story of Unrequited Love, as the theme profoundly illustrates one typical problem that arises among close-knit Asian families. There is always a striking point in all of these twenty stories where Wangu seems adept at scrutinizing the role of women in contemporary society. In the end, it is difficult not to feel moved or affected after reading these stories.