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The End of Innocence by Moni Mohsin

The End of Innocence is not an extraordinary story but it is worth a read. One of the negative points of this book is its similarity to Bapsi Sidhwa's Ice Candy Man. I have not read Sidhwa's book, however I have seen 1947-Earth which is based on it.

The theme of both the books is similar. A child sharing space with the adults and trying to understand the world of grown-ups. In the End of Innocence Laila is the 9 year old girl who reads Enid Blyton and wants to 'solve a mystery' like the Five Find-outers. She has dreams of a child but wants to grow-up fast so that she can talk like one of the adults around her. She finds a friend in Rani, who is 6 years older than her. Rani, a teenager, has a different world. She dreams of falling in love and getting married. She shares her feelings with Laila who is too young to understand it wholly but still she acts like a good listener and poses to be excited in front of Rani. But the truth is that she does not understand the gravity of the situation and one day she innocently shares Rani's secret with the wrong person and Rani is lost forever. What Laila gets in return is a guilt for life.

Moni Mohsin describes Laila and her world beautifully. Laila is the most comprehensively sketched character of this novel. That makes me wonder whether the book is partially autobiographical. Autobiography or not, the story and the characters are believable. One of the sub-plots of the book which I really liked was the relationship between the husband and wife, Tariq and Fareeda, Laila's parents. They were the perfect couple, truly made for each other. Their love story runs throughout the book, though in the background.
Overall I liked the book but there was nothing which specifically moved me. Somehow it failed to touch my heart.

I am wondering which book should I pick up next. I think I will read some non-fiction now just to change the taste. :)


sujaan said…
yes shaz, non fiction zindabaad!
Shazia said…
Yes Sujaan, of late i have stopped enjoying fiction. Non-fiction is where my interest mainly lies. And my favourites are Biographies and Popular science. I will start reading either Richard Feynman's "Surely you are joking.." or another book which is called "Seed to Seed" which is about plants and their life.
JC said…
just go for Irodov's Problems in General will stop reading books after that....:)
Shazia said…
@ Jeet
I have seen that book from a distance. I love myself so I didn't indulge in self-torture by flipping the pages of Irodov's famous book. :)

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