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The Ambrosial Hour


Worth reading 😎

Kakoli G is a talented storyteller who creates beautiful characters. In this novel though, they struggle to emerge in the plot's fast pace.

The Ambrosial Hour by Kakoli G is a short, character driven story that follows Aditi’s family as the repercussions of ego, wealth and exploitation trickle down the generations. The characters are well-rounded, yet the author’s fast-paced prose leaves the readers wanting more. In many instances, Kakoli G tells, rather than shows, the inner motivations of the characters. Though engaging, thought provoking, and a pleasure to read, the author should consider making space within the narrative for the pro- (and an-) tagonists to share their voices with the readers.

Kakoli G’s novel weaves together the threads of spirituality, karma, and motherhood within the mundane framework of family politics and ego trips. The resulting tapestry is a rich testament to the choices of each individual character: the ones they chose to act on, and the ones they chose to abandon. Each character, from Aditi the mother, Arun the husband, Aditya and Ajita the children, Rumi the lover, and the un-named matriarch (instigator of the inter-generational tension) are fully developed and draw the reader in. As such, the potential for tragedy and hope to coexist are believably portrayed in the various scenarios envisioned by the author.

Where The Ambrosial Hour struggles is in the pacing and speed with which Kakoli G shares the story of Aditi’s family. In the novel, time jumps (both forward and back) in huge chunks, leaving the reader disoriented. At 84 pages, the book is short, and could benefit from an extended look into each of the characters. This would allow them to take readers further into their inner worlds, to hear more of the pro- (and an-) tagonists voices, rather than the narrators’ renditions of their life story.

The pages of The Ambrosial Hour by Kakoli G, flew by. In part because of the length (84 pages) but mostly because of the beautifully rendered characters who invite us, the readers, to join in the unfolding of their lives. Throughout the book, however, I found myself wanting to hear more of Aditi’s voice, Arun’s or their children’s. Kakoli G is without a doubt a talented storyteller, and could greatly enhance the strength of her novel by loosening the reigns and sharing more of her narrative beauty. 

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About the author

Kakoli's travels to a myriad of towns, be it on work or leisure, made her a keen observer of the day to day struggles and aspirations of the Indian woman. A kaleidoscope of memories and insights gleaned from her interactions with a large diaspora of society have found expression in her writings. view profile

Published on September 28, 2018

Published by

20000 words

Genre: Literary Fiction

Reviewed by