I have been reading this month and it has been eventful. Other than reading a few good non-fiction books, I also read a few novels from various genres. Today, I will share my review of the latest one I read by Sujith Balakrishnan – The Chronicle of Golgotha Days. To be honest and straight even before I begin writing my comments about the book, let me tell my readers that this a novel that deals with real events – a rape case of 1996. However, in spite of dealing with the events that actually took place, Sujith has managed to keep the soul of fiction alive and he has done it wonderfully.
Life becomes trouble worse than death for Abhaya when she is forced to enter the life of a prostitute. She is only sixteen when she decides to run away and begin a new life with a bus conductor who turns out to be a dupe who only loves her for her ornaments. Lured by a woman of her aunt’s age and then further pushed into a hellish life a person who calls himself an advocate, Abhaya, away from her family, dies every day!
The novel unfolds itself in a diary-narrative because all the inputs come from Abhaya herself. As the title of the novel says and the cover image suggests, the novel is about Abhaya’s ordeal – physically and mentally. She is raped by many people in the course of 38 days. Her criminals are from politics, business, decorated offices and many others who otherwise pose as the elite of the society.
About the narrative, I will say that it’s straightforward and very near to reality. It comes from the character herself and it’s Abhaya who records the horror of those Golgotha Days. And it further intensifies the fiction because it comes directly from the victim’s perspective. Thus, it raises pathos in the readers.
The plot is based on the days Abhaya spends in the grip of those criminals who claim to be very connected people. The central character is Abhaya and the novel is just about her, around her and of her. I am sure that the novel will be liked by every reader who takes an interest in reading crime fiction or novels based on real events. This novel should also appeal the readers who like reading fiction works based on human rights.
The theme can easily be traced to be injustice, perverse mindset, betrayal, juvenile ambitions and at last, the resolve of a father to fight against the injustice which he also understands to be impossible. In short, The Chronicle of Golgotha Days is a novel that is moving, animated and horrific. Sujith Balakrishnan has made his English fiction debut impressive and he has tried to do something not everyone does – shake the conscience of his readers.
However, reading this book might also emit an unlikable impression. The modern readers who are accustomed to reading casual novels with many characters and a fast-moving plot might feel the novel by Sujith to be a little slower than their expectations.
You can get a copy of this novel from Amazon India. Link is below:
The Chronicle of Golgotha Days
This is a must-read novel for all… advised for serious readers.