A vibrant, wholly original novel about identity, family, desire and love set in 1970s India....
Mallika is a painfully shy young woman growing up in the heart of a lively, sometimes stifling New Delhi colony. Though she is surrounded by love, her life is complicated by secrets that she, her mother and her aunt work hard to keep.
After suffering a trauma aged nineteen, Mallika loses three days of her memory and slowly spirals into a deep depression. She must find a way out of the abyss, back to herself and those she cares about. But she must also hide her mental illness from her community.
In a narrative that unfolds elliptically from the perspectives of Mallika and the seven people closest to her, the astonishing story of these characters lives emerges. For Mallika's family, childhood friends and the two men she loves are also hiding truths. As each gives voice to contending with their own struggles, secrets and silences shatter.
Trauma, forgiveness, hope, marriage and the shame around mental health are all explored in this beautiful, complex and funny story set in 1970s New Delhi. It's the first novel from Appachana in 20 years and one to be savoured * Stylist (Big Fiction Books for 2023) *
Tender and poignant * Woman's Weekly *
Love, longing, terror and healing all come into play in Anjana Appachana's New Delhi set novel, Fear and Lovely * The Handbook (a 'best new book release arriving this month') *
A story written with confidence and panache, sprinkled with humour * TripFiction *
Some novels melt your heart. For me, this is one of them. Anjana Appachana's Fear and Lovely is beautiful, wise, funny and deeply moving. It's bursting with emotion, truth, secrets and love, all written with such insight and tenderness. I loved it -- RACHEL ELLIOTT