Out of the blue! Many incidents occur in life. Like the wise men say, some unpredicted things are bound to happen, some unexpected journeys are ordained to commence and some wonderful people are destined to meet. Just like that, one day during my adventure traverse in the blogging world, I chanced upon a gregarious, audacious young woman who simply blew my mind. Audacious, because she is the first lady author in Pakistan to break all norms and venture into the fantasy world of love stories; gregarious, because the first time we spoke it seemed like we knew each other for centuries. And it is no wonder that her debut novel Equinox (part of the Equinox Trilogy) had such an impact on me. I’ve never written about a book before, but the captivating 250 pages kept me enraptured in a way that I forgot whether it was night or day, morning or evening – an Equinox of sorts. Such is the power of her pen that I fell in love with April Rivers and Richard Chase – the protagonists of Heena’s addictive and quixotic love story.
Heena’s writing style is endearing, especially for incurable romantics like me. Every word spoken by April and Richard makes you realise that love can be a joyous yet melancholic experience.
Though Heena uses simple language (exactly the way I prefer!), her expression is very powerful and compelling. She spices it up by throwing in French here and there. Chocolates being Heena’s favourite (and mine too and that’s why I could relate with the story so well), form a significant part of the story. I would be lying if I didn’t mention that it did remind me of my favourite Fifty Shades of Grey, but the delight is that Equinox is enchanting minus the erotic factor; which makes it a finer read. Right from the prologue to the last chapter the book is spell-binding; one experiences raw passion and emotions ranging from sorrow to ecstasy! My inner goddess melted upon reading the soulful poem by Elvira Lobo, written exclusively for Equinox.
Set in the cold and gloomy, yet picturesque English countryside, this romantic fantasy is a tale of two young lovers – April and Richard. April is an orphan teenage girl who has been raised in a Convent with aid from her benefactor who she has never seen; only met through the various gifts he sends her and poems which she doesn’t understand. She is caught in a world that oscillates between fantasy and reality. Her rendezvous with Richard, the smooth and suave 21 year old leaves her gasping. Unable to comprehend her emotions, April chooses to be candid and pours her heart out to Richard. That makes matters worse for her as the feeling of rejection becomes unbearable on Richard’s insistence that they are not meant to be. It tears her apart to know that the only man she is ever capable of loving is elusive and beyond reach. She vows to dedicate her life to the Church when she realises that Richard is a celibate. Ranging from freemasonry to demons, amorousness to heartbreaks; this page turner jolts you out of your reverie with an unexpected twist in the end. It is a brilliant finale that makes you look forward to the sequel with bated breath.
April Rivers: A teenager who has kindness and vulnerability written all over her face is about to embark on a journey where her fate would be decided soon. A girl who has lived her life on charities is lucky to have a couple of girlfriends and wonderful foster parents to call a family. She has the illusion of a shadow following her most of her life and is about to come face to face and discover the reality of the shadow. Timid yet brave, April is the archetypal girl next door who thinks she is the most ordinary woman in this world, and shies away from crowds; solitude being her favourite companion. She musters the courage to acknowledge the feeling of love towards Richard only to gather that her life will change in a way she had never dreamt of. She resorts to chocolates to soothe her aching nerves even when she turns into a frail figure due to ill-health.
Richard Chase: A well-dressed Casanova, the epitome of perfection, the millionaire who sets thousands of hearts racing but has eyes only for that one demure girl. His lines – “As long as you breathe so shall I, princess if I am not found in you I do not exist. I’m lost in you bad …” define him completely. A love-struck young man who cannot see beyond the love of his life, but must stay away from her for her own good; for there are powers unknown who do not want them to unite! At times you feel he suffers from a multiple personality disorder the way he changes tracks from his mercurial temper to the ever loving boy who breathes and lives only for April.
Equinox is a very well-written novel in which all is not what it seems, and that is the beauty of it. For the lovers, life is a big test of their patience and endurance and only perseverance can see them through the trials and tribulations. The wide variety of emotions is awe-inspiring and as a reader you feel each one of them as you turn every page of this heart-stirring love story.
On a rating scale of ‘to read or not to read’, the rebel in me wants to break free and say, “It is a must read for everyone whose heart beats for someone!”
Here’s wishing my dear henpen aka Heena the very best for the Equinox Trilogy and the many more trilogies that are waiting behind the curtains to be unveiled soon.
Kissing image source: Flickr
Featured Image Source: Heena Jadhav Sunil.