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September 23, 2023

My Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

Publisher - Vitasta
Genre - Fiction
Publishing year - 2023
Language - English
ISBN - 978-81-960413-6-6
Pages - 298
Dancers in the Dark: In the Darkness of Her Skin, She found Light by Ejaz Ahamed

Book Review - 

Dancers in the Dark by Ejaz Ahamed is a poignant and captivating novel that delves deep into the complexities of identity, self-acceptance, and the enduring bond between siblings. This debut book is set against rural India's backdrop, taking readers on a transformative journey exploring human emotion's depths.

At its core, it is a tale of two young siblings, Kalki and Karthi, who face the harsh realities of life in their impoverished village. Kalki's unique predicament, her pitch-black skin, sets the stage for a narrative that is as much about the external as the internal struggles. The novel skillfully portrays the stigma and ridicule she endures, highlighting the societal biases that persist in many parts of the world.

Karthi's unwavering devotion to his sister is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Blaming himself for Kalki's condition, he embarks on a quest to find a solution, leading them down a perilous path filled with misguided efforts to alter her appearance. This journey becomes a metaphor for the lengths people will go to fit into a society that often prizes superficial attributes over true worth.

As the plot unfolds, the siblings' pursuit of a remedy for Kalki's skin condition takes unexpected turns. They encounter a diverse cast of characters, each with their secrets and traumas. Ahamed's storytelling prowess shines through as he weaves together the threads of their lives, creating a rich tapestry of interconnected destinies.

The novel is not merely a narrative of despair and hardship but also a celebration of resilience and the human spirit's capacity to adapt and evolve. Ejaz Ahamed introduces elements of mysticism and cultural festivities, adding depth and flavor to the storyline. These elements remind us that life's most profound transformations often occur when we least expect them.

The author vividly depicts the rural Indian landscape, its traditions, and the nuances of its people. The narrative is both evocative and thought-provoking, making it a compelling read for those who appreciate portrayals that challenge our perceptions of beauty, acceptance, and human experiences. 

This fast-paced story will linger in the mind long after the final page has been turned, leaving readers with a renewed appreciation for the power of love and the strength of mortal nature. I recommend it.

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