Man vs Wife – doesn’t it sound poetic? However, the concept behind this phrase is horrible as well as humorous at the same time. If humour wins over the horrible thought, it can be enjoyed. However, if it is literally what it seems, Man vs Wife, then one has to be very cautious; lives are at stake, a family is at the betting line and too many emotions as well. Ashish Srivastava, the novelist, has written this novel in a first-person and from the perspective of a husband – Viral Singh. Well, today is the day for women but I am still lured enough to write this book review because the novel has been read a few days ago and it’s still banging my head with thoughts, emotions and critical opinions striving to come out. So, let’s get it done.

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Well, it is only after going through a few pages that I came to know the person narrating his story was named Viral! And then, I also came to know at the very beginning that our protagonist wanted to get divorced from his wife and he was looking for some safe exit that won’t harm him. Nevertheless, in the process of getting a suitable lawyer to get this divorce done, the readers come across many difficulties that are faced by Indian husbands (Hindus particularly) if they want a divorce. However, it is also noted that the Indian judiciary system has left a lot of space for the marriages to be saved rather than just get blanketed with the paper of divorce in one go… Reconciliation is always there, as a chance.

Viral also tells Anwar, his lawyer, about his love story. This love story comes with a huge twist that will certainly shock the readers. I will not be revealing that in this review. As the novel oscillates between flashbacks and the present scenario while Viral is either reminding his beautiful days or telling about those to Anwar, the plot reveals itself and when the final revelation is done, that is the end.

Trisha and Viral have messages for married couples. It is easy to fall in love and fight the world to get married; is it likewise easy to take marital responsibilities? Maybe yes and maybe no. One has to make changes to one’s life. One has to give space, adequately, to another. A husband and a wife have their own expectations with the marriage and it has to be taken care of by one another. In short, the message that this novel Man vs Wife gives to the readers is that a marriage has to be run and managed by the husband and the wife together. If one has some trouble, another has to accompany and support.

As a novelist, Ashish Srivastava may not be having everything now. He is new to writing, no doubt. He has managed to complete a novel that is interesting, entertaining as well as serious; and this is what I am looking for in my leisure – novels with certain motivation rather than the novels with no direction and soulless romance. I will rate the theme higher than its plot and language. It could be better written but it MUST better be read for what it is!

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Man vs Wife - Book Review
  • Alok Mihra's Verdict
3.5

Summary

You will like the theme if you are a serious and ardent follower of Indian fiction. If you are a reader who readers because he reads, you will like the plot as well.