She Ended Up Marrying The Wrong Brother… And Then?

Wrong by Shilpa Suraj is a tale that centres around the lives of Ananya, Arnav and Arvin, about a lot of ‘wrong’s. Wrong timing, wrong decisions, wrong circumstances...

Romance as a genre may be unfairly panned by a certain section of readers/writers but a good story well told is a good story well told. That rings so true for the latest book ‘Wrong’ by prolific author Shilpa Suraj, published by Rupa Publications.’

What is Wrong by Shilpa Suraj about?

Ananya Saxena is the good girl who has always done the right thing. She is a dutiful wife, faithful daughter-in-law, fierce champion of the law. Except, in her heart was another phrase—reckless lover. An impossible choice for a good Indian girl. Duty had Ananya marry her best friend only to end up with a bitter, vengeful husband.

Arvin Saxena is now a cripple, both physically and emotionally, after his wife’s confession the day before they were to be married. So, Arvin’s never-ending pain finds release only in hurting her. What he doesn’t know is that her secret sin was loving Arnav Saxena. Arnav turned his back on all of them when she discarded him and married his younger brother. When he is forced to return, it sets Ananya on a collision course with fate, and she chooses desire over duty to embark on an affair with Arnav. For a brief glorious time, they have it all.

But soon, Ananya is faced with yet another life-changing decision when adultery, bankruptcy, and a web of lies bring her to a crossroads. The dutiful wife or the defiant lover… who does she choose to be? And does she really even have a choice?

Wrong is Shilpa Suraj’s best book till date

I have read several of Shilpa’s works earlier and without a shred of doubt I can say that ‘Wrong’ is her best till date. Her dedication towards working on her craft with every book she writes has always been evident for me and in ‘Wrong’ she has outdone herself.

Wrong is a tale that centres around the lives of Ananya, Arnav and Arvin, as is pretty obvious from the blurb. I do not want to give away much but as the title itself conveys, this story is about a lot of ‘wrong’s. Wrong timing, wrong decisions, wrong circumstances – well, isn’t that what life is all about? The USP of the story is exactly this – its relatability factor because it reflects our lives in some way or the other.

First up, I must mention that I haven’t read a more intriguing and hard-hitting prologue in a while now. ‘Arvin was both her husband and her penance’ – Lines like these pack a punch and make the reader sit up and stay glued to know in which direction things proceed from thereon. Shilpa’s word play is fantastic through and through. There is nothing simple about the simply written lines. They are profound and meaningful and thought-provoking and witty.

Sample this – “I love them because they are my parents, but I don’t necessarily like them.” This one line says a lot about the reality of many families, doesn’t it? I can imagine some readers screaming ‘story of my life’ in their minds upon reading it. In fact, while this is a love story, to me Wrong is also a family story. Because the people we become is a sum of many factors – a large part of which comes from our upbringing and milieu at home. Dysfunctional families or difficult/unconventional relationship dynamics with parents can often lead to simmering frustrations and pain that can burst out at the most crucial junctures of our lives. Wrong by Shilpa Suraj is a strong reminder of this very fact, and the author integrates this thread seamlessly with the romantic track.

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A taut narrative that pulls you along

One of the biggest strengths of Wrong is its taut narrative and razor-sharp editing. Without wasting space on the unnecessary, Shilpa takes us deep into the minds of Ananya, Arnav and Arvin. Their complex emotions have been depicted with sensitivity and you believe they exist. They make you weep. They make you infuriated. They make you titter. They make you worried. Shilpa keeps you invested in the characters and while you may know where this would end, you would still want to know how.

The character arc of Ananya is brilliantly executed through the story, and I was cheering hard for her in the penultimate chapters and the epilogue. Her character is sure to speak to many women out there and we all will find a little bit of us in her. Do we even need to ask how often women settle for less because they are apparently fortunate to have got that much? How many women want to demand for what they deserve but let go any way because they want to pick their battles?

Ananya’s struggle to find some sort of a semblance in the maddening web she is tangled in does not feel fictional after a point. I love that her character is deliciously flawed and beautifully vulnerable and all heart for the people around her. She makes mistakes but does not shy away from owning up and taking responsibility. She is a go-getter and a passionate lawyer helping fix other’s problems, yet is unable to tackle her own due to her guilt and insecurities. A woman who knows what she wants, yet does not know what she wants, and eventually finds her answers when she puts herself above everyone else and everything else – give me more of these any day!

I only wished we would be made privy to what transpired between the brothers, Arnav and Arvin, after the big reveal. I was loving the way their relationship was shaping up which is why I really wanted a scene between them but that is only me being greedy!

To sum it up, Wrong makes you wonder if it is possible to always have an objective perspective on whether we are right or wrong when we all use different lenses to look at life. Is loving someone, at times, about loving ourselves through their love for us? What do we do when we have to choose between ourselves and our moral code? Do we sometimes desperately hold on because we feel we will lose a piece of ourselves if we don’t? Yes, the book did make me think of all this and more.

Wrong is definitely your next ‘right’ read. To know whether Arvin, Arnav and Ananya find happiness and peace, buy your copy of the book from here.

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Image source: a still from Marathi film Karaar, and book cover Amazon

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About the Author

Anupama Dalmia

Multiple award winning blogger, influencer, author, multi-faceted entrepreneur, creative writing mentor, choreographer, social activist and a wanderer at heart read more...

115 Posts | 742,695 Views

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