The Dark Holds No Terrors by Shashi Deshpande

Trigger Warning: Abuse, Trauma

I don’t remember the last time I read a book this quickly, within a week! The writing is so beautiful that I simply couldn’t put it down and yet, the sentences so brutal, I had to pause and halt to catch my breath every few pages. It stirred in me emotions I didn’t know I had, depths of fears I had never traversed this blatantly before.

On the surface, it’s a story of an unloved child that grows up to be a woman who is repeatedly brutalised by the father of her children. The only man who had ever made her feel loved. Becoming like her mother was a fear she grappled with all her life, only to realise there were bits and pieces of her she couldn’t hide from. They were within her.

It’s a melancholic story that shreds your heart and makes you wonder of all things wrong, patriarchal and sexist. It hits you where it hurts, hard. It also dwells heavily on unresolved mental health issues and the importance of conversations sans facade. It’s a tale of a battered child, teen, woman. She grows into a strong person. The cost, however, is only hers to bear.

If you can tackle the trauma it holds, it’s a book that must absolutely be read.

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