Nandini Gupta’s “Daughter of the Night” is an enthralling story of a budding young journalist, Laila, who leaves her home in Lahore, Pakistan to travel to Udaipur, India to cover an international report. Her experiences in a foreign city take the readers on a never seen before journey filled with ups and downs that keep them on the edge of their seats. There’s not one moment to be missed. There’s not one feeling to not be felt.
The novel is a package of welcoming and unwelcoming surprises. The welcoming ones give the readers a warm, fuzzy feeling, while the unwelcoming ones propel them to turn the page until they know it all. There’s this feeling that a clock is ticking in the background and there’s no guarantee that everything will end well. One moment it’s all good and before you know it, everything can collapse just like cards in a deck stacked upon each other.
Laila’s story is a brave one, one that shows the courage it requires to stand for the truth.
She’s a likable character and the readers get to know her very well as the story unfolds.
She can become a best friend for many and readers will want to sympathize with her, grieve with her, and laugh with her.
The other characters in the novel are equally likable. They each have their own significance in the development of the story and Gupta does a fabulous job of attributing distinct character traits to each character that strengthen the story’s foundation. Their interactions with each other and Laila, and their own story makes “Daughter of the Night” a wholesome work.
The plot develops well at a good pace and this should be credited to Gupta’s unique writing style. Although there are vivid descriptions of the places Laila visits and other scenic details, Gupta focuses more on letting the readers develop their own understanding of the story and its characters. She doesn’t hand answers and explanations on a plate and lets her readers do a little bit of digging on their own.
All these elements put together make for a thrilling story with readers not being able to put the book down until they’ve figured ‘it’ all. Every hint dropped the readers’ way has a place in the grand scheme of things and when everything comes together, it’s like fitting the last piece into the puzzle.
Gupta’s work is nurturing. Bold. Vivid. Exciting. Tempting. Testing and everything else you could’ve asked for in a debut novel.
Title | Daughter of the Night
Author : Nandini Gupta
Publisher : Nandini Gupta
Format : Paperback
Pages : 160
Price : Rs.188 (on Amazon.in)