A Price to Love is a high-powered, contemporary romantic drama by author Smita Das Jain.
Set against the backdrop of corporate India, the book is centred around a modern-day power couple, Sonia Ajmera and her husband Sameep Aggarwal, living in the Delhi NCR region, even as Sonia struggles to maintain a balance between a stellar career in the cutthroat corporate world and her personal life.
Blessed with a fantastic trajectory of professional wins and a partner who loves her with every fibre of his being, Sonia’s life seems like a bed of roses. But the odds are stacked against her. She has left her past behind, but its shadow still looms large over her. The success, the accolades, and the love cannot fill the void within her.
To an extent wherein even drowning herself in work does nothing to alleviate her desire for external validation, which comes as unexpected and whirlwind encounters with her colleagues and even her employer.
What ails our protagonist? Why is she taking such risks? What happens when the very thing for which she gives her all, her work, her company, and her colleagues, refuses to return the favour? Read A Price to Love and discover!
At its essence, the book addresses myriad social subjects like work stressors, work-life balance, trauma, and relationships. Through the deeply engaging narrative, the author is successful in conveying the message that the consequences of trauma are diverse, ambiguous, and far-reaching.
One thing that does not benefit the book is the almost aloof nature of its protagonist, Sonia.
The author has sketched the character with finesse—an accurate reflection of a woman of her circumstances—but she appears unlikeable at times. The reader doesn’t understand why she does what she does. For the most part, she is emotionally unavailable to her husband and, inadvertently, to the reader.
The literary world has seen many grey characters who are loved and even admired. In Sonia’s case, the description (justification) of her motivation comes towards the very end, which could be the reason it is difficult to connect with her.
Sonia is the intended protagonist in A Price to Love, however, it is Sameep who steals the show. Yes, he is annoying, probably selfish and incredibly insensitive towards Sonia and her choices, but he still shines brighter than Sonia because he is relatable. In stark contrast to Sonia, his emotions are an open book and the connection is instant.
Above all else, the book’s highlight is its star cast of multi-layered characters replete with personality quirks, eccentricities and realistic flaws. All of them—primary and secondary—make their presence felt and how! The narrative is crisp, fast-paced and superbly intriguing. And, the attention to detail about the corporate world and its myriad challenges is exceptional.
Overall, A Price to Love is an engaging, thought-provoking reflection on the challenges faced by contemporary couples in their fight to reach the top in today’s corporate climate and their search for true love and connection.
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