Book Review: What Mina Did by Geeta Menon

A good book with a nice cozy cup of tea inspires life!

Book Review: What Mina Did by Geeta Menon

Published by: Rupa Publications

Genre: Fiction

My Rating: 3.5/5

Blurb as on Goodreads:

1998. Twenty-two-year-old Mina is moving to the US from Bangalore to begin a new life with her husband. Then there’s a horrific murder and her life is turned upside down. Mina’s best friend Neelu helps her out of the abyss.

Mina gradually leaves her past behind and settles into a new life in the US. Years later, she is forced to return to India and is confronted by the demons from her past. In her fragile mental state, she is unable to support Neelu in her time of need.

Their friendship hits rock bottom. Mina goes back to the US and faces further hurdles, this time on the work front. She tries to make amends with Neelu, but their friendship ends with Neelu accusing Mina of something unimaginable
related to the murder.

Something, that deep down, Mina knows is true…

Will Mina redeem herself? Will the people she loves forgive her for what she did?

Alternating between flashbacks and the present day, What Mina Did explores how one betrayal can have catastrophic consequences, while delving into the complex bonds that link mothers and daughters, and best friends.

My Opinion:

Let’s just take a minute to appreciate the title and the cover of the book first!

At first look, I thought it to be a mystery/thriller book, but it wasn’t.

The book revolves around Mina and her life as she struggles with PTSD. Engaged to Vijay for six months, Mina was about to get married to him in a week, when a tragic incident happens and she loses her mother in it. She then marries him and moves to US. She returns after 5 years only to sell her parent’s house. But with that, returns the many memories and insane dreams of her. Mina finds solace only when she is with her husband and daughter, and her best friend Neelu. Neelu has always stood by her side and has helped her in all her struggles. But during Mina’s time in Bangalore, Neelu comes across a situation and needs help from Mina. But Mina fails to give the needed support and their relationship go sour, resulting in Neelu getting married to the guy of her parents choice (when she’s already in a relationship with John – an African-American). 

I love the character development, the story building, the plot. Loved how issues like anxiety, trauma and pain like delicate things are explained in such details. There are many issues along with anxiety and depression which discussed here such as – loss of love, suicidal tendencies, arrange marriages, affairs, friendships. It shows how the same things can go different for different persons. Both Mina and Neelu go for arranged marriage, but Mina is happy however Neelu is suffering. 

The story is simple and beautifully written. The narration and the language used is easy and understandable. 

Overall, it’s an interesting and satisfying read, but somewhere it couldn’t meet my expectation. The main plot got sidelined by the time one reaches second half of the book and it talks more about the friendship shared between the two friends. I did love that, but it wasn’t as smooth as it should have been and hence didn’t meet my expectation.


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