Dear Evil Eye,
You had me on the edge of my seat and wired long past the closing scene.
P.S. Book Details
Author: Madhuri Shekar
Book Length: 1 hour 38 min
Book Genre: Fiction//Thriller
Publication Date: May 2, 2019
Synopsis: Pallavi is an aspiring writer living in California. Her mother, Usha, is thousands of miles away in Delhi – and obsessed with finding her daughter a husband.
In Madhuri Shekar’s ingenious Evil Eye, hilarious back-and-forth via phone and social media takes a shocking, supernatural twist when Pallavi meets the perfect man – leading to a climactic showdown that will leave listeners on the edges of their seats.
Where Evil Eye starts to where it finishes is starkly different. I thought the story was going to be more contemporary/light fiction. I’m not sure why I thought this, because it is pretty clear now that it was meant to be thriller. Between the music and dramatic performance, I felt the thriller in my stomach.
Readers follow a mother and daughter. The mother lives in Dehli, while the daughter lives in California. The mother desperately wants her daughter to get married, but when she finally finds someone the mother is suspicious. There was an air of authenticity that was engaging as a reader as we saw some Indian culture emerge. Around half way through the book, the whole air of the book changed and the story took a darker turn. If I had been expecting it, I may have enjoyed the story more. Since I went in unknowingly (my own fault, really) I was pulled between not wanting to listen to the thriller and wanting to know what happens.
Evil Eye was told in a unique manner that was conducive to being an audiobook. All we know is what the characters are saying to one another. There are no inner thoughts of characters, only what they voice to one another over the phone. As a result, readers hear the frustration in the voices of the characters and make insinuations. I think this book has the ability to mean something unique and different to each reader with this format.
Typically after reading a book there are a couple moments I linger feeling the emotional journey. It is normally a sweet feeling of accomplishment and longing. When I finished Evil Eye I felt exhausted. I was wired from the thriller aspect of the story and the thriller music kept putting me on edge. Listening to Evil Eye felt more like watching a movie with closed eyes than reading a book. It was a performance audiobook, which was difficult for me. I can see why people would enjoy this format more, and I imagine it grips people who do not typically listen to audiobooks. But, I felt like there was more focus on the performance than the book. Since the story was mostly phone calls between a mother and daughter, part of the performance was the phone ringing or one voice sounding distant. Whenever the phone would ring, I kept thinking it was my phone ringing. It felt distracting to the story and at times I missed some of what they were saying.
If you enjoy thriller and are looking for a way to get into audiobooks, you may enjoy this performance format and short length. All in all, it was a well-written and performed story, just not one for me.