Burnt Paper Sky – Opinion

Burnt Paper Sky

To lose a child can be the most traumatic experience ever. Can anything be worse than that? Yes, it is the general public, people who don’t know at all or people who don’t know you start judging your capability as mother. The novel was very relevant in that context. But sadly, my liking stopped there.

There was tension throughout the book. The author had done a commendable job in that. The master stroke was giving a character’s perspective totally by his conversation with a counselor. Even if it was told in a normal perspective it wouldn’t have worked out as well as the narration has come out.

I am not a big fan of Villain jumping in the last chapter with dagger in his hands. That was the same let down in “Girl in the train” too. In a suspense thriller, I would like to go back and see if I had missed any clues. Or if I was deceived by any red herrings. But Burnt Paper Sky didn’t give me that much trouble. It is the story of Rachel, A photographer who is struggling to get hold of her life after her divorce and being a single mom. This a classic case of physically present and mentally absent mistake, which takes her Kid Ben from her. The rest of the story deals with how she manages to hold herself while people try to find her son. Gilly McMillan, the author gave her that hero moment too. But I didn’t have the impact as I would have expected.

There were other interesting factors that were analyzed but fell short. Like how Rachel’s friend is a journalist and she tries to get a story out of her. Of Rachel’s elder sister who wants a male child but blessed with five female ones. I felt like there was not big difference from British and Indians. Be it media or social media users or family members. Or i may not be exclusive for India and Britain but through out the world.

The big let down for me is we didn’t know what happened to Ben when he went missing. That was a very important part of the novel and that should have been a resolution for that.  At least I felt.

It was a brilliant plot and Gilly McMillan was impossible. When I was ready for some action, she closed the door and said the circus is over. I may not go to her again


  1. kavipriyamoorthy January 27, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    The description of the teacher and her longing to have a kid at home, which is also explained by how she got a nice room for the kid explains what happened to Ben, isn’t? though she wanted to give him all sophistication et al, when she found him using the laptop she lost control. Those lines reminded me a bit of Misery. In the end, when Ben is detailed to the extent that he had lost the trust factor, I pondered that it might be one of his worst experience.

    1. prasanna January 27, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Yes. Yet it didn’t bring out the drama as much as I would have liked. As discussed I felt it was some loose end

  2. Divya Srinivasan January 27, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    First time I am spending my time to read your blog post. No comments about the book as I haven’t read it but I liked the way you have written the review. Will try to be a regular visitor here. Happy Blogging 🙂

  3. Gayathri Lakshminarayanan January 27, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Now I am thinking whether I should add to the TBR or not.. Anyway what was your misgiving about ”Girl on the train’ – I liked it 🙂

    1. prasanna January 27, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Villain jumping out in last two chapters

  4. AB March 10, 2016 at 2:47 am

    Just finished this book yesterday and I really share your disappointment. I think Girl on the Train did a better job than this one. We at least had an introduction to the villain earlier in the book. We knew he had cheated on his wife and left her (indicating a propensity for cheating and such). In this book the villain really appeared very much out of the blue. This whole book felt very amateurish to me. I can’t understand why it has so many good reviews on goodreads.


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