3 August 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

The boy with a broken heart by Durjoy Datta (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

2083rd BLOG POST

29th Book of 2023


I started reading books in my early 20s. Unlike many readers, I started my journey with Indian authors. They have impressed me enough as I have been able to relate with every emotion they wanted to express. All the authors I read initially have become like a family for me. I never miss reading their books even if I get a chance after years due to other reading schedule in pipeline. I just completed reading Durjoy Datta’s “the boy with a broken heart” which was in my bookshelf since last 6 years. It’s the 2nd book in “The Boy” series- the 1st being “the boy who loved”.


This 327-pages book published by Penguin Random House is one of the most difficult books I have ever read. I had never imagined Durjoy getting so dark in his writings. There was a time I would write reviews complaining about the amount of sex he would add in his stories. I am just unable to comprehend how can the same author write something so deep which happens in such parts of India which isn’t exposed to many of us who have lived life in better cities/localities.


The book is again written in the form of diary entries – but this time from the girl’s perspective by the protagonist, Advaita. The initial part of the book is about her introduction along with complete detailing of her family. The initial pages describe the kind of life she and her sister, Divya, have spent since childhood. It is really tough going through the events. It makes you shift uncomfortably while reading as it becomes tough to relate and imagine a human being going through such bullying and violence since childhood.


Durjoy tries to explain how few Indian families have been under such patriarchal influence that they just don’t realize the kind of crimes they commit on daily basis. The book goes deep into making us realize how one human being can be so merciless towards another. Almost every character around Advaita except her parents are wild and wicked. Each one of them have a distinct type of evilness. I have felt lump in my throat so many times while going through this story that I wished to take action against any kind of bully I find in my life. That’s the impact this book has left upon me. I don’t know if that’s what Durjoy wanted to leave with his readers after they finish the book but this is how it has affected me.


There are various social issues about which Durjoy has focused upon ensuring that he doesn’t sound preachy at all. The book talks about how mean not only men but women of the family can also be. I am glad Durjoy took this stand as it’s only men who are being blamed in the name of patriarchy whereas the author tries to emphasize upon the point that even women can be equally harmful as men in a family. How the birth of boys is treated against girls is described very well in form of Advaita’s cousin brothers. Even their worst mischiefs are accepted and celebrated whereas Advaita and her sister are blamed and punished for just being themselves.


Through the character of Meghnad, we get to see the consequences of how few Indian families nourish boys that all they know about their existence is that they can tease and molest girls physically and emotionally without any fear and boundaries. The scenes where he forces Advaita to be with him are really tough to read and imagine. The story also throws light upon the way gay community in our country ends up living without ever letting anyone know about their sexual orientation. Durjoy also gets into how few Indian families never get to speak for themselves just because the man of the family is not powerful enough to take stand against others who try to oppress them.


Along with all of these concerns and many others, the book is also about friendship, hope, dreams, change, love, luck, redemption, belief, ambition etc. It is a fine read to experience the evolving relationship between Raghu and Advaita. The commitment that both of them shows towards each other – not exactly in respect to love but affection is nicely portrayed. The love between the sisters- Advaita and Divya reflects how few siblings always take stand for each other without being jealous or wicked.


The pre-climax is something that finally brings smile on the face of the readers who have gone through the trauma and pain for the first 300-pages. I liked how the whole sub-plot has been drafted by Durjoy. Finally, climax is something that doesn’t look relatable as, otherwise, the book feels like a real story whereas, here, it gets little Bollywood-ish. I wished Durjoy hadn’t gone on this path right at the end of the story which takes away the personal touch from the book. The last page of the book ensures that there could be a 3rd part of this series as well even though the synopsis mentions that this is just two-part romance series. But anyway, book ends at a very interesting turn where we can comprehend that the story can go in any direction and we might get to read something very magical again from Durjoy.


Overall, I must say that be ready to feel disturbed and shed few tears and relate with the trauma of the main characters if you are thinking of picking this book up. It will change you as a person forever and you won’t hurt anyone even a bit after this. It teaches us empathy in a very rare manner. I give this book 4.25 stars out of 5. I had to take away 0.25 stars just because of the Bollywood-ish end otherwise this book is a recommended read for sure if you have strong heart to bear the pain of the characters.






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