If one were to summarize Lover’s Rock in a couple of sentences it would go something like this – Mani Shankar Varadharajan, a decorated Air Force officer falls passionately in love with Grace Wilson only to lose her to a deviously hatched plan. A wicked swirl of fate brings Grace dangerously close to the alluring charm of Mark Braganza, the playboy hotelier of Goa. What starts as a tale of love and unending passion ensues into a plot of deception and revenge culminating into a tragic twist. But thats just the summary. Its really about whats between these that keeps the reader locked on to Lover’s Rock.
I truly applaud Mr Bedi, the author, on the plot of the novel – it has every essence of a potboiler. The description of the life in an Airforce base builds up the character of the novel, Mani and Grace. And the story keeps moving at a pace that keeps the reader on a trot. There is never a dull moment in the novel and you as a reader are tempted to let go only when there are no more pages to turn. The character of Mani has been built quite intricately with the requisite shades of grey. He evolves from a devoted lover to a reckless gambler and then just touching onto the edges of retribution settles onto his base character. Grace on the other hand hadn’t been treated as much with care. Her character lacks the depth of humaneness and comes out quite shallow throughout the storyline. All the other characters in the plot exhibit themselves enough to move the story along. I would have loved for the characters to have a bit more soliloquy perhaps just to understand them better. Instead it was mostly through dialogues that their true motives were developed. Its often what we think in our deepest thoughts is what shapes our actions than what we talk to our closest friends, or so I believe.
Lover’s Rock rides on plain often colloquial language. This plays along quite well in the informal setting of the Airforce base depicting the playful banter between friends. But what I lament about is that there is sometimes an overuse of repetitive phrases – ‘What’s your poison?’ and uninspiring metaphors. But what lacks in the construct makes up in the flow. The language is free flowing and easy to comprehend and helps the reader to keep pace with the story.
Like all men, Mark started with the watery soup of flattery. Grace sent him a coquettish look over the rim of her glass. ‘You don’t cease to flatter me.’
‘I mean it from the bottom of my heart.’ He gave her a look that would have melted even the most resolute mother superior on the planet.
Overall its a good light read for a weekend especially for the story line that Mr Bedi has created. He uses his author’s imagination and his expansive knowledge of the world, having himself served in the Airforce all his career, and brings to life the stories he writes. I like the ingenious plot he creates and having read his collection of short stories too I know for sure he has quite a few more hatching in his mind already. If you are looking for this read, grab a copy from Amazon here.