Book Review : The Dove’s Lament by Kirthi Jayakumar #BookReview

Doves LamentThe Doves Lament is a book which leaves us a bit uncomfortable.  It hits you right where it should,  in the heart.  The book is a collection of short stories.  The book has a theme.  It is about civil wars and genocides.

Each story in the book brings to life the statistics or headlines which we read in the news.  It brings to life how common people, most of them defenceless, have been affected because of a war which they neither endorse nor care for.

A war has no real winners.  In the Mahabharata,  the Pandavas have won the war.  They lose all their sons including Ghatotkacha, Abhimanyu, Aravan. There is the young pregnant widow of Abhimanyu, Uttara.  They have to kill their teacher Dronacharya, Bhishma,  Karna and many more,  But, they have to live with the despair of its subjects who have lost their loved ones.    They are pained by the sight of endless destruction and the sounds of mournings and wailings, of the lines of young widows in white clothes.  They inherit a city which is soulless which is merely existing and not living.  So, who were the real winners.  The war was grand,  but everyone is a loser.  

Similarly,  in the book,  the stories are about the people, how they are affected by the wars around them.  In today’s world,  the picture of little Aylan is closer to us.  A death which is so meaningless and defines the Syrian refugee crisis.  The endless strife in Gaza is still on. It is easy for us to sit in our comfortable chairs, read about it and feel sad.  But it is another for someone to experience it.  But, in the face of adversity,  the human race discovers its greatest strength to survive and overcome the ordeals.

Right from the first story,  the reader is pulled into a web of emotions.  One of the best stories is about a mother who loses her son named Habimana.  After each story,  the author has given the details of the specific war that she has written about.

Though the wars are different,  the people and their emotions are universal.  It has been well brought out in the book.  For those, not familiar with these civil wars around the world, it is a good history primer.  But ultimately, it is a book about people, adversity and how they come out of it.

The language is clear and flows smoothly from one story to another.  The stories are well-researched.  I also absolutely loved the beautiful cover of the book.  It is clean as well as intriguing.  The Dove which is a symbol of peace has been used here who is crying for peace in the world.

Looking forward to many more stories from Kirthi Jayakumar.

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I received a review copy from  in exchange for an honest review.

10 thoughts on “Book Review : The Dove’s Lament by Kirthi Jayakumar #BookReview

  1. What a wonderful Review Lata. This novel has affected me a lot too. I loved the line .. war has no winner. When will we humans realize that is something we have yet to see. In Geeta it also says that every action is preplanned and is done to make humans learn a lesson. But I suppose even the Gods are wondering what the lesson was after the Taj bombing or the Sept 11 incident. Hopefully, we can spreak the word through our stories and beliefs. Thanks for this wonderful review.

  2. The background is powerful – it forces us to think. The more we read about wars, the more we will think of it all as something “affecting someone else.” When we read stories about individuals, ordinary individuals, that’s when it strikes a chord.
    Sounds like a great book!

  3. I agree that seen from one perspective all wars only result in losers on each side. And yet mankind as a whole hasn’t evolved beyond the need for wars and violence. Individuals, here and there, may have evolved in their consciousness to that heights. But as collectives, as societies and nations we are quite on the animal stage. Mahabharata was fought as a war to end all wars. And yet Krishna knew that that was not the final war. WWI and WWII were meant as wars to end all wars, and we know that hasn’t happened.
    Unless we as a species have arrived at that height of consciousness where we don’t need violence and war to resolve our conflicts, there will be a need for such books to bring out the human tragedies that result from such acts of humanity.

    1. Thanks Beloo for this wonderful comment. From the Mahabharata till the Syrian crisis, and Palestine, have we not learnt anything?

      1. Or even closer at home, the mindlessness and brutality of partition – first in 1905 and then in 1947 didn’t teach us anything. Punjab, Kashmir, North-East, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkand, Kerala……everywhere, it is the same. The perpetrators are different, the ideologies are different, but the deep underlying animality remains the same.

  4. Love the cover, the concept and the very purpose of this book. While the theme of the book in itself is heavy, what intrigues me more is that after each story the author explains what triggered the story. Will pick this one up soon!

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