The Dove’s 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.
I received a review copy from Readomania.com in exchange for an honest review.