Book Review: The Temp by Michelle Frances

temp 1Looking for suspenseful stories with strong female characters who are not breathing down each other’s neck all the time, Michelle Frances’ The Temp is for you.

For me, the main attraction of this book is its cover (a lady working on her laptop at a workplace) and the title. Not only that, I also like the synopsis. (Side note: I always go through the synopsis to get a little insight about the story before purchasing a book.)

Apparently, it appears a thriller with undertones of domestic drama where talented young woman is looking to replace a successful older woman. The narrative is told from the perspectives of two women: Carrie and Emma who have different views of each other but there is one constant in their life, Adrian, of course for different reasons.

Carrie, in her 40s, has a successful career as a producer of television programmes. She comes across a very strong, confident and smart lady in her domain. Her husband Adrian is also an award winning screenwriter in the television industry. They are content in their professional and personal lives but life takes an unusual turn which completely jolts them.

As a couple, Carrie and Adrian decide not to have children; primarily because they both want to focus on their career. However, fate has something else stored for them; Carrie gets pregnant and the problem arises when she chooses to keep the baby, and this puts her relationship with her husband off balance.

Moreover, they are prepared to start a new show which needs time and with this pregnancy, Adrian and her friend as well as managing director of Hawks Pictures Liz suggest to hire a replacement for few months. This is where Emma enters as a temp who is intelligent; and despite coming from a well off family, she has always struggled to be the daughter on whom her parents can be proud of. What is interesting is that Carrie never wants Emma to be employed as her replacement.

the tempBeing pregnant, Carrie cannot stay in the office for long duration due to pain and dizziness. Insanity and jealousy run rampage on Carrie’s part especially when Adrian, Liz and everyone in the office are all praise about Emma’s work.  The last nail in the coffin for Carrie is the birth of her newborn baby boy Rory. Her baby keeps her busy all the time and since she has no support from Adrian, she begins to drift away from her husband and her colleagues. As a consequence, she feels isolated and subconsciously put all the blame on Emma. Carrie does not realise that this is all work of her creative mind (pun intended).

British-based author Frances has established herself as a mature, knowing and new voice in the genre of psychological thriller with her bestseller The Girlfriend. Her debut novel took on the issues of unforgiveable lies and twisted relationships. Her second book deals with the relationships caught in the crossfire of all scheming and manipulation.

I do understand that the author has shown some sort of conflict between two female protagonists. Also, the book cover gives an impression to the reader of Emma being conniving who wants to usurp Carrie’s life, which is why both women will compete over Carrie’s husband Adrian. Clearly, this is not all! The book offers much more to the reader’s delight.

If you want to read full review, the link is https://www.dawn.com/news/1471385

 

 

 

Jealousy Can Ruin Healthy Relationship

othelloOthello is one of the classics of William Shakespeare. What I like most about this play is the theme of jealousy depicted in the play, and is still relevant in the modern world.

Othello is a great and wise man, except for his blindness of thought and the rashness of action caused by his jealousy. He becomes angry when he sees a very small possibility of his wife, Desdemona’s infidelity.

Also, Roderigo is jealous of Othello’s marriage with Desdemona and he is blinded by his obsessive passion for Desdemona. However, it is Othello’s jealousy that brings about the destruction and tragedy in his otherwise happily married life.

The other theme more prominent is the psychological manipulation of Iago. He is the one who instigates Othello against his wife and loyal friend Cassio.

The foundation of healthy relationship is based on trust and sincerity. There is no room of jealousy in a stable relation. Jealousy is powerful. It can ruin relationships and make good, well-meaning people act in ways they never imagined like the heroic character of Othello.

Jealousy can make spouses abusive or in extreme cases, a killer. It’s important that partners should have open communication so that no one dares to sow the seed of jealousy or create misunderstanding in their relation.

You Deserve To Be Happy…

 

madiha 1

Photo by the writer

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel you are no good? Has anyone made you feel worthless? Have you ever thought why you always feel bad about yourself? Are you doing right? Is all what is happening is your fault? Are you as bad as a person? Is something wrong with you?

These thoughts have all been with me for the past five to six years. Every day when you are told that you are a selfish person and you only think about yourself; gradually you begin to think that you are nothing but a useless person with no heart.

I had been there in that situation where I was constantly assuring and reassuring myself that it’s just normal to feel this way but fighting each day with these thoughts really consumed my energy.

Recently, Oxford Dictionaries has chosen toxic as its word of 2018. Toxic means poison and living in a toxic relation or environment suck the joy and happiness from within you and replace with anger and sadness. And who knows this better than me.

Let me tell you honestly, coming out of it was not an easy feat. It took me a while (read many years) to realise that I am not wrong but I am actually stuck in a wrong situation. The only thing which pulls me out of this mess was me! Yes, nobody can help you until you help yourself and that what I did. And the strength I receive, to do this, was one and only my Almighty Allah.

The best solution to come out of this poison is to surround yourself with your loved ones and say goodbye to those who add nothing but negative energy into your life.

  • Be with positive people, work and relation.
  • Explore the inner side of you which you have lost down the line.
  • Do not be scared to be on your own.
  • Learn to forgive yourself and the one who has inculcated toxicity in your life for your sanity (but don’t forget what that relation did to you).
  • Focus on the goodness in your life.
  • Keep in mind that you are not a bad person to leave this relation or environment, you have only done this for your mental and emotional stability.

And lastly, do remember, YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY!

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Love Is In The Air!

 

love is air

Online photo

Love is a feeling that can only be felt by those who have experienced it. 

Love is to be with the one through thick and thin.

Love is to feel save in a lover’s embrace. 

Love is to take care of each other. 

Love is not about saying ‘I love you’ it’s a feeling expressed through lover’s eyes. 

Love makes you fearless.

Love is selfless.

Love is to let go. 

Love is to wait for someone for the rest of your life and believe that one day it’s going to be worth it!

I know it will be…some day!

Laila Majnu: A Tale Of Eternal Love

 

laila_majnuEpic love saga never ceases. Imtiaz Ali and Ekta Kapoor’s Laila Majnu is one of the popular folklores that has been a symbol of love across generations. Imtiaz Ali ( the director of popular movies like Jab We Met, Rockstar) presents the heartbreaking classic folklore in a contemporary light.

Although the movie was released on September 7, 2018, I watched it yesterday and I was blown away by the honest romance which I think is missing in most of the Bollywood movies, these days.

laila majnu finalDirected by Imtiaz Ali’s brother Sajid Ali, this movie is co-written by two brothers. The movie is a classic retelling of the story which has been there for centuries. But this time the producers and director have given a modern touch to age-old story.

Set in the backdrop of Kashmir, this new representation of the legend tale of love and suffering revolves around two characters: Laila, played by Tripti Dimri, is flirtatious, somehow likes being followed by boys in the streets of Srinagar and excitedly asks her friend how it felt it to be kissed by a boy. She is deviant in her attitude yet obedient in her actions. Majnu is played by Avinash Tiwary who is rich, spoilt brat. Their parents belong to rival political families and when both lovers want to marry, the conflict arises.

lailamajnu_127727_730x419-mLaila Majnu is the story of love and insanity. It’s how Majnu vies with ‘duniyadari’ and follow ‘his heart’ and in process sever himself of reality. It’s about how his desire to be with Laila just cut off from the real world and he starts living in his own world.

Avinash Tiwary as Qais/Majnu is a great discovery. His expression and body language are excellent as he transforms from the happy-go-lucky Qais to the obsessed Majnu. Tripti Dimri looks pretty and beautiful.

laila majnu 2

I love the innocence in romance and especially I was flabbergasted to see Avinash Tiwari acting. This is his debut but the way he performed his role as Majnu was brilliant. He enchants you with his ‘so much in love’ craziness. Moreover, the movie has few beautiful moments especially when Majnu sees Laila after four years, other is when Laila and Majnu meets at their friend’s wedding and phone calls… all this make you to fall in love with the characters time and again.

I rate this movie 3.5/5.