Review of “What Mina Did” by Geeta Menon

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Title: What Mina Did

Author: Geeta Menon

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Publication Date: 2019

Genre: Fiction

Pages: 286

Purchase Link: Amazon

It’s been a while since I reviewed a book on my blog. Head over to my Instagram profile to keep up with mini-reviews of books, which I post regularly. Today on my reviewing table is Rupa Publications’ “What Mina Did” by Geeta Menon.

THE PLOT:

Mina and Neelu are best friends since childhood. Neelu is a steadfast rock for Mina when she goes through a traumatic incident in Bangalore. Soon after, Mina moves to the US, and when Neelu needs her friend the most, Mina is too busy with her own problems to offer support.

The book is the story of two women coming to terms with adult life, and the toll it takes on their friendship.

THE COMMENTARY:

The blurb at the back of this book is radically different from the plot I have outlined here. The title, the cover page design and the synopsis, portray “What Mina Did” as a murder mystery and thriller. However, the actual storyline cannot be classified as a thriller or mystery. For this reason, I was sorely disappointed while reading the book. Had I known I was reading a book about friendship instead of the juicy mystery I was expecting, I might have enjoyed it more. This kind of obvious marketing ploy can put off the discerning reader of today.

“What Mina Did” is a good first attempt at novel-writing. There is a credible plot, it moves at an elegant pace, and the characters are given time to develop and become engaging. The denouement, however, lacks impact.

Further, I felt a strong disconnect in the first and second halves of the book. Mina’s traumatic incident in India, is at complete variance with the romantic struggles that Neelu faces. Perhaps, the two tales could have been written as short stories in an anthology. That medium might have done them justice.

There are far better books that have been written on Indian women abroad (The Namesake); Indian women as mothers and daughters (Difficult Daughters); and even on women as friends (Elena Ferrante’s series). I am aware that it is unfair to compare a first-time author to established writers, but offering benchmarks is my attempt at constructive criticism.

THE VERDICT:

“What Mina Did” is a decent pass-the-time novel. It is not groundbreaking in terms of plot or writing, and it definitely isn’t a mystery novel, as it is portrayed. As a simple treatise on female friendships, I would recommend it as an airport or vacation read- nothing more.

Rating: 3/5

Buy your copy of “What Mina Did” from here

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*I’d like to thank Rupa Publications for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. The post is not sponsored, but it contains affiliate links. When you purchase a copy of the book through my link, I earn a small fee at no extra cost to you. Please support my blog by purchasing through my link!

**Copyright in all pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla and cannot be republished or repurposed without permission from the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.

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66 Thoughts

  1. From the name even i thought it’s a thriller like ” know whatvywhdid last summer”, after reading your review I have tuned my expectations before i i start reading this book.
    I follow your mini-reviews on insta maybit be movies, books, places or web-series.

  2. Thank you for sharing your honest opinion… I might have picked this book because I love mystery and thriller but I guess it isn’t that amazing… I may get it if I want later…

  3. Hey, even I have this habit to read a book with some preassumption and sometimes I am annoyed when the genre changes. Maybe we should not really think so much and enjoy the book in hand.

  4. Wow very interesting review. Probably one should get it if they travel a lot. Now a days the waiting period at airports can be crazy!

  5. Oh even I thought it to be a thriller by looking at the title & the book cover. Thanks for sharing your honest review.

  6. ImI more into real life based novels or ones with social problems. Fictions are not my thing but i do pick a one-time quick reads for travel. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I think that the story line and the concept is interesting which could have been made more gripping, but as a first time author, it still looks a good one time read.

  8. That’s an earnest and a critical review Noor very objectively done, my takeaway is it’s a book on friendship but there too it is lacking somewhere

  9. A candid and frank review. The first book by the author, seems a good first attempt. It seems a fairly entertaining book especially to read on a flight or during a layover.

  10. Thanks for your honest review. I am not a reader kind of person but will surely share this with my friends as the story looks good.

  11. I read about it on your Instagram and landed here to know more … Looks like a good time killer and will read it during my next travel.

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