Friday, 16 December 2016

Book Review: Wreath and other stories by Sangeeta Mahapatra

Wreath and other stories - Book Cover

Book Name: Wreath and other stories
Authoress: Sangeeta Mahapatra 

Publisher: Notion Press 

Price: Rs. 250


What is it that we fear? An evil presence around us, watching and waiting for a small slip, or the realisation that the malevolence is within us and has already made its move? 

Wreath and Other Stories will take you into a world that is slightly off its hinges- a bizarre, eerie realm. In short, a world much like our own, if only we would notice it. 

A dangerous obsession of an artist, a broken childhood promise, a birthday gift gone horribly wrong, a soldier trapped in a nightmare, a warning from beyond the grave, a writer's new lease of life in a "suicide central," a patient's struggle with insanity, a terrible crime in an idyllic artists' town, a man's record of his last moments, a bride haunted by her past.. 

With grey characters, a creeping sense of dread, and a twist at the end, it will ensure that you go to bed satisfied, having had your fill of a world of wickedness and terror... until that world engulfs you in your dreams. This book will enthral lovers of horror and suspense. 


The stories of this collection are spine-chilling. They are the ones that will give you goosebumps. You will be astonished at the way the authoress has presented the stories and also, at the manner in which the mystery or the suspense has been maintained. The stories are engrossing. You wouldn't wish to put this book down once you start reading it. 

Let's have a quick tour through the stories. 

Red moon 

This story left me astonished. During our childhood days, most of us would have had a best friend - the one with whom you play, the one who fights with you, the one who fights for you. You must have made promises of never leaving each other. She, the protagonist, also made a promise to Anima but unfortunately broke the same. What promise was it? Why is the story titled 'Red moon'? 

The moment I started reading this story, I knew that it would be an awesome read. I was astonished. I was feeling bad for Anima. The narration is in third person and is realistic. You get carried away in the lives of the protagonist and Anima. 

Rating: 3.5/5 stars. 


We are staying in the world wherein new inventions are made and technology is taking a front seat in every aspect. If you're given a chance to choose between a machine and a human for a particular task, what would you choose? She seemed a little upset when Jiya and Suki, her friends and roommates grew friendly with Jay and Naima. What happened at the play which gave her nightmares? Was Jay responsible for it? 

If there's an award for maintaining the suspense then I bet the authoress must be awarded. Not for a second did I get any hint of this suspense. All I say is that the authoress left me speechless. 

Rating: 4/5 stars. 


The loss of our loved ones leave a vacuum in us. No matter how much we try, we cannot fill that void. Manav and Meera share the best of brother-sister relationship. You'll envy Meera for having such a caring and kind brother. But their relationship seems to be jinxed. What happens to them? 

All this while I was of the opinion that the authoress is a mystery/suspense writer. This story proved me wrong. She has portrayed the emotions very well. The narration, yet again, is engaging one. 

Rating: 3.5/5 stars. 


The biggest and the most dangerous weapon in this world is our mind. It can make you a success or can flush you down the drains. Why am I saying this? It's time you read this engrossing tale. 

The first person narrative of this story has such a deadly effect that at some point of time you believe that you're the protagonist. Authoress has once again used her magic wand. Another good read. 

Rating: 3.5/5 stars. 


I love borrowing old books from the library. I have many times come across quotations, messages in these books. Mrs. Kar comes across a picture in one such old book. Every time she forgets about it, some way or the other she is reminded of it. Why is she reminded of the picture? What connection does she have with the people in the picture? 

Such a thing has happened with me quite a few times. I believe its God's way of reminding you to accomplish certain things in life. Coming to the story, the language and the narratiom keeps you hooked on to this story. The curiosity of what happens next will not allow you to keep this book down leaving the story incomplete. 

Rating: 3.5/5 stars. 

Artistic Spirit 

When a story begins with 'He started living the day he died', it has got something really interesting for its readers. 

This is one story amongst the entire collection whose end I could predict. I knew what it would be. But that doesn't make this story less good. Engaging story! 

Rating: 3.5/5 stars. 

The Wait 

What would you do if you are being told that you've very less time with you? That time is slipping away? Meet the protagonist. And you will know how it feels. 

A story that gave me goosebumps. The narration is so realistic that for a moment, I felt that my heart had come out of its usual place and got stuck in my throat. I have one question to the author - how can you manage to do this? 

Rating: 4/5 stars. 

Tick Tock 

Creative minds, I believe, are the simplest yet most complicated minds. It thinks of one thing at one moment and completely opposite the very next. People find such minds confusing. Read 'Tick Tock' - a story of one such mind. 

This is a short story spread across 8 pages but has that captivating power. 

Rating: 3/5 stars.


Some people come into your life and leave a mark when they leave. Chetna left an undelible mark on the protagonist's life. Who was Chetna? Why did she go away from the protagonist? 

A story with a surprising end. Lovely narration. The author has rightly portrayed the feelings of the characters. 

Rating: 3/5 stars. 

Déjà vu 

Radhika has déjà vus the moment she steps in to her new home with her husband. She has never been to that town yet she feels a connection. She meets a psychiatrist who tries to help her. Why is she having hallucinations? Is it related to her? Are the spirits trying to converse with her? 

This is my favorite story from this collection. The narration is perfect. This story has all elements that would make a good movie. I wish to see this story on the screen. 

Rating: 4.5/5 stars. 

I rate: 

Cover: 3.5/5 
Stories: 4/5 

My overall rating for 'Wreath and other stories' is 4.5/5 stars.

You can buy this awesome collection of stories from Amazon.

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