Fairy tales are always focused on damsel in distress locked up in an enchanted castle waiting for their prince charming to rescue them and living happily ever after. But in reality some place in the world damsels in distress do not live in castles and nor are they rescued by any prince charming at all. These damsels in distress might not live a happily ever after life and are content in just simply living.
“Song of a Cuckoo Bird” a novel by Amulya Malladi is based upon these damsels in distress. Damsels of a little town in India washed away by destiny to live in an ashram by the Bengal River. This book is a journey of these women from the day they set foot in the ashram until they grew old with it. The ashram became their refuge from harsh society some of them orphaned, born of wedlock, and born in the wrong caste lived their lives in the ashram. The novel focuses on their decisions in life which was influenced largely by the ashram changed their individual lives forever. A peek into the day to day struggles of Indian women all mashed up into one novel.
The novel for me has heart but lacks concrete conflict. It is an interesting read but might not be interesting enough to get anyone hooked. It turned out to me like short stories of the characters in the novel and their life within the ashram. Sadly I expected more from it, but it turned out to be a simple fictional memoir of different Indian women.
With that I give this novel a three out of five stars.