“He brought up her old scars again, and now he couldn’t leave them on the shelf like books to gather dust.”
– Beena Khan
It is a rainy winter night in New York. A sudden downpour has led some pedestrians to take refuge in Kabir’s restaurant ‘Ferdaus’.Among them is an enigmatic woman, looking strikingly beautiful in a sleeveless red dress.She makes her way to the bar and sits there quitely,reading a book she was carrying with her.Everyday after that,she comes to the bar in the evening, and drowns herself in her drinks and books till the restaurant closes.She remains oblivious to everything around her and carries an air of sadness around her.
Kabir is a pragmatic and sensitive man.He wants to know more about this mysterious woman who visits his restaurant everyday.He weaves a unique plan of approach.Everyday,he leaves a new book at the bar with a note in it for the mystery woman.The plan works,for the woman too starts leaving her own books with notes for Kabir.This unique conversation continues for some days,until one day the woman catches Kabir just as he was leaving the book.Kabir comes to know the woman’s name is Elif.They become good friends,and gradually get to know more about each other. Elif is carrying a deep pain from her past and she is unable to cope with it.Until Kabir comes into her life…
The ending moved me to tears,it was absolutely unexpected.I applaud the writer for her dexterous writing skills.I could almost see most scenes unravel in front of my eyes.
At times, the book felt a little too lengthy.A bit more crisp editing would have done the trick in my opinion.
The protagonists discuss a lot of books in the beginning chapters.If you are a bookworm like me,I am pretty sure that you will find quite a number of books that you have read already.And you will also end up adding more to your tbr lists.
All in all, Beena Khan’s debut novel “The Name of Red” has been a pleasant read for me.I will definitely be looking forward to more books from her.