The Strongman’s Daughter is Madhuri Iyer’s second book. I had read and liked the first one – Manhattan Mango, and based on that experience I decided to give this one a try.
About the Book
Twenty one year old Aditi Narvekar returns home to Goa after completing a fancy college education in New York City. Now, her father the Chief Minister of Goa expects her to either get married or join him in politics.
Neither of these options appeal to Aditi who wants to return back to New York to be with her boyfriend and study further. But how to convey that to her dictatorial father?
Soon the disagreements escalate between father and daughter and the personal becomes political, and the entire state of Goa is pulled into this conflict.
I was quite surprised reading this book, as it’s so very different from Manhattan Mango. Manhattan Mango was very upbeat, and yuppie, and urban. The Strongman’s Daughter not as much. Even though the story is about a Chief Minister’s daughter, there was none of that glitz associated with a wealthy girl.
Instead the book focuses on the lack of choices that a girl has if she decides to go against her parents wishes, emphasizing that even a Chief Minister’s daughter could be a prisoner in her own home in modern India.
This aspect of a girl’s powerlessness is very nicely brought out. Aditi’s decision to fight back against her father and win freedom for herself is also really well done, and I liked how the power struggles between the two is brought out bit by bit.
Aditi for the most part is in the helpless position, that is, until she meets activist Raj Dias, and seeks his help.
And now here comes the part of the book I didn’t like.
Predictably enough, Aditi and Raj fall in love. I have no objection to that, I don’t mind a love story. But the real story is so much bigger that Madhuri Iyer didn’t have the time or the space to develop the love, and I found their relationship tepid at best. It would have been so much better to just leave this as a strong friendship, but that’s just my opinion. Some stories need the love story to flesh out the book. This one didn’t need it. The father-daughter conflict was more than enough.
That’s pretty much my only complaint about this book. Otherwise, I liked this book very much and finished it off within a couple of sittings.
If you are looking for something a little more serious-minded than your average chick-lit book, you will like this one very much indeed.
Huge thanks to Fingerprint Publishing for sending me a copy of this book for review consideration.
You can also buy a copy of this book from Amazon.