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Ancient promises Young and vulnerable Janu gave up Arjun her first love to enter into an arranged marriage Years later she is miserable having been gradually shut out by the coldness of her husband’s family and his indifference to her and her daughter’s needsFinally she flees to England to escape the loveless union—but at what price to herself and those she loves The moving story of one woman’s painful journey of self discovery Ancient Promises is about a marriage a divorce and motherhood It is about why we love and lose sometimes seeming to have little control over our destiniesAbout the AuthorJaishree Misra is the best selling author of Ancient Promises Accidents Like Love and Marriage and Afterwards She lives in the United Kingdom

  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • Ancient promises
  • Jaishree Misra
  • English
  • 14 September 2016
  • 9780140293593

About the Author: Jaishree Misra

Jaishree Misra is an Indian author whose debut novel Ancient Promises was published and sold worldwide by Penguin UK and became a major bestseller in India It is now a prescribed text on several University BA Eng Literature courses

10 thoughts on “Ancient promises

  1. says:

    A book for the lion heartedIs it worth having a heart ache with a book as a reason?If yes go for this oneThe ups downs and downs and ups is for sure to accelerate your heart beat and knock you down of your stable life styleThere is nothing wrong if the book makes you completely insane and keep you prayer bound chanting 'save the souls'Talk to your friends about it definitely not for the light hearted onesI begin to dread this author like Khaled Hosseini Give it a try it is completely worth itPS I couldn't read any other book it was like my dead soul was panning over this again and again

  2. says:

    Read the first page and you know this writer is a KeraliteA realistic story Easy narrativeAs the cover saysthe story is about a young girl's painful journey to self discovery and freedomThe novel describes the ways of Malayalees very accurately and I had the feeling of reading a Malayalam novel translated to EnglishThe author lavishly uses Malayalam words all through the novel By the time people finish the novel they would learn what 'Ammumma' means but I wonder how would they ever understand what 'Tulabharam' means

  3. says:

    A page turner this first book by Jaishree Mishra kept me hooked for a week of my commute timeThe blurb on the book says A heartrending story of love and family loyalty Well a not too unfamiliar theme A teenage romance a loveless marriage and a fortuitous reunion with the old love Sure there are countless novels and movies on this theme Where the book really scores is in the beguiling manner in which the simple and straightforward Janu narrates her tale She like anyone else is searching for her happiness in a society sold on show with no place for the soul Yet Janu is devoid of any rancor blaming her situation on some Karmic inevitability some ancient promisesIn a note at the end of the novel the author reveals that the story in its essence is autobiographical Of course the author also makes the point that any work of fiction will also carry its share of imagination Be that as it may one will not fail to notice the force and vividness in the narration Janu's recounting of her arrival at her marital home on the day of her marriage on her 18th birthday is brilliant That scene must hold true or less for not only any Malayalee bride from Kerala but also to a vast majority of South Indian if not all Indian brides

  4. says:

    One of the best Indian writer I have came across This is a fine piece of autobiographic literature that you can't stop reading until the end Sometimes it will feel like a book translated from Malayalam because it really shows the essence of Kerala lifestyle A must read I say

  5. says:

    If the book shelves of Indian libraries were organised by theme it's fair to say that the section for 'books about unhappy arranged marriages' would need many kilometers of shelving It's not a rare or unusual topic and I put off reading my copy of Ancient Promises for a long time thinking ' of the same old same old' To some degree I wasn't entirely wrong in thinking that but Jaishree Misra has steered away from domestic violence instead focusing on the just as toxic domestic indifference Janu's husband is barely present for much of the book the plot being dominated by his mother and the extended family that Janu has to live with and whom she can't ever seem to pleaseThe book 'feels' very current and I was incredibly surprised when the author mentioned the end of Margaret Thatcher's 'reign' late on in the book I had not realised the book was set so much earlier than I'd assumed Once I did realise the absence of mobile phones internet and other 21st century communication methods suddenly jumped out at me It's often said by outsiders and of course I'm one of them that Indian families handle disability in a positive and nurturing way so much better than western society Not so in the case of Janu's daughter Riya who is seen as an embarrassment to her father's family Janu's relationship with her daughter was the key difference for me between this and the multitudinous 'books about unhappy arranged marriages' I did not know when I was reading that the book was semi autobiographical as it's only revealed in the notes at the end of the book Reflecting on that I can see that an author of fiction would most likely have piled on the abuse with a heavier spoon probably had the husband beating his wife the mother in law making her scrub the floor like Cinderella and her own mother and grandmother forcing her back to her in laws I respect Jaishree Misra for not giving into that temptation Instead there are things the family do to her subtle conniving that are all the powerful for being contrasted with their indifference

  6. says:

    My all time favourite book Janu and Arjun remains in our heart forever I read it during by teenage days and that may be the reason this book made so much impact on me We feel love through out the read and realise true love cant make us apart by any means I have read it multiple times The way Janu thinks and make decisions are so much relatable and that made this most favourite A book to read with heart♥

  7. says:

    A heart wrenching storylinean autobiography of the author herselfa story that one would wish that it never happened to anyone everBeautifully writtenTwo thumbs up to Jaishree Misra

  8. says:

    Jaishree Misra'a semi autobiographical work Ancient Promises narrates the teajectories in the life of the protagonist Janaki allies JanuIt raises some very important uestions regarding the view of society towards womanhood and disability as in a country like India both are viewed as 'other' Disabled women are doubly marginalized as they are female and because of their disability which contradicts the parameters of normalcy The Protagonist Janaki was forced into marriage by her parents when they come to know about their daughter's romantic relationship with Arjun a Delhi boy She was married to a Maraar family in Kerala But here she finds no mental or emotional support from her husband and family membersBut everything changes with the birth of her daughter Riya who is a mentally disabled childOnce Janaki didn't have any purpose worth fighting for but now Riya becomes her strength and reason to fight against the pre set ideas and norms of the societyShe associates her inability to speak Malayalam with her daughter's lack of speech and together they form the subalternSoon she realized that all these pre set notions are worthless and she has to fight for the rights of her daughterThis realization changes her into a completely different human beingI have really enjoyed reading it and recommend everyone to read it onceHappy Reading

  9. says:

    I picked this book up solely because it had been lying in my shelf for about 8 years and I needed to take a break from the usual genre I read which is Mythology I loved how the author details Delhi and Kerala in particular the dialects the local shops or markets the characters and the mind of a newly married 18 year old The storyline is something we have read before but the way it has been written will keep one hooked wanting to laugh and cry a little I especially loved those anecdotes on how each of our moments or people we meet are connected to our past life I have read 2 other books of hers before and this definitely is my favourite

  10. says:

    Jaishree Misra's debut book with a fresh narrative voice in comparison with the other novelists of her time An unforgettable story told in first person narrative Ancient Promises combines in its narrative strategy romance myth and social criticism Jane Austen succeeded in bringing irony in her novels through interesting and poignant observations which were most often witty as well Taking the same line of novel writing strategy Jaishree Misra gives opportunity for readers to enjoy the book in multiple perspectives than just a single faceted love story Of course Janu the protagonist is the narrator and this is her story However this is also the story of Kerala and its marriage customs Many irrational and unjust customs still exist in this southern land situated in India's south Many European cultures have established trade relations with Kerala even before the time of the British But in the long run it can also be observed that the nature of how people behave the prying and gossiping and backbiting didn't change at all Neither had any change visited the sad countenance of Kerala's narrow minded arranged marriage custom It is because of these uniue views that the novel upholds that I recommend you the book With her lucid and playful language Misra creates a sea of emotions and the reader can easily establish personal harmonies with her characters and events In the afterword to Ancient Promises Jaishree Misra says that the novel is partly autobiographical However there surely is fiction as a binding force that connects each and every element from the painful world of reality Janu loses her first great love and is forced to marry a business person Her marriage brings her only heart break and agony Her in laws and husband who her parents have selected for her carefully ignores her very being and forces her to the background of the dignified Maraar family Janu could not hold the glory of the Maraar household because during one of her visits to Delhi the city in which she grew up although her parents were from Kerala she meets her old love Arjun Janu's life takes a new turn and her decision to leave her husband strengthens Still Janu faces another crucial problem; Riya Janu's baby girl Riya has learning disabilities and a child like Riya would not have a smooth life without Janu's careful nursingTorn among these people will Janu be able to find the courage to say yes to life? Ancient Promises is a journey into the mind of Janu through her teenage and years after an arranged marriage that goes terribly wrong Ancient Promises by Jaishree Misra was tremendously enjoyable

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