Cappuccino Confessions by Anita Kumar

“Eventually, I realised, it wasn’t straight people who reduced homosexuals, men who curbed women, or the rich who oppressed the poor. It was the individual’s own character and lack of courage to be one with their truth that restricted them.”
Two best friends, grappling with the many complexities of their lives, find themselves in the middle of chaos caused by unfulfilled expressions and desires. Choked by their secrets and desperate to find answers, they get embroiled in a dark web. In the midst of this turmoil, they believe they have each other…”

Have you ever read a book that pulled your heart’s strings? A book that you just didn’t want to put down? A book that made you feel in tune with the characters? Well, Cappuccino Confessions was all that and more for me. 

I applaud Anita Kumar for her ideologies, philosophies, imagination, writing style and especially determination. Considering that the book was published in 2017, it was considerably ahead of its time and I am glad that I got a chance to read this masterpiece.

In all honesty, when I read the blurb of the book, I had no idea what to expect. My sole reason for giving it a try was that it had “cappuccino” in its title (I know, I know, I love my caffeine). I aimed to read at least a few chapters and see how it goes. Well, as the members of my book club have experienced through my rants during the journey, it went extremely well.

The first few chapters captured my interest and confirmed that I would love to read this book. By the time I reached the 5th chapter, I was hooked; to the extent that I finished 80% of the book in a single day. Its genre can broadly be classified as Contemporary. It deals with many sensitive yet necessary topics such as the stigma around lesbians and divorce, and parental trauma. It is difficult for me to explain other themes of the book without giving spoilers, so instead, I will focus on the characters and the writing style.

The story was wonderfully built and I could imagine the efforts both the author and the editor must have put into it. It flows wonderfully, at no point is it too slow or fast. Just like the coffee in my hand right now, It was the perfect temperature. I had read about the ideal flow of a story however, this is the first time I got to experience it. The movement from the exposition to rising action to climax to falling action and resolution was brilliantly executed. 

I was amazed to see how relatable the characters felt in the first few chapters only. I believe that it is very difficult for readers to connect with a character when they haven’t experienced any of its struggles or dreamt of its dreams in their real life. However, this book proved me wrong. No matter how different the characters were from me, I related to every flaw and every quality in them. By the end of the book, they were a part and parcel of my life.

Anita Kumar has taken care that her characters are neither black nor white. They are grey, just like us. I can neither blame them nor feel pity for their choices. Another wonderful aspect of this story was that even the side characters were not sidelined, no matter what the plot focused on. In the end, I was satisfied with the life and choices of each of the characters. The main characters (I am not revealing the names so that you get the opportunity to discover the story on your own because it was an experience that I wouldn’t want you to miss.) presented the turmoil that each and every one of us goes through. They were not in an ideal world, which made the story even more relatable.

The author talks about various social topics throughout the story. I know you might expect the book to be an overdose of preachiness but trust me, you are wrong. The author has managed to address all the issues, either sarcastically or seriously, without seeming abrupt. The flow of the text is such that the issues emerge and are discussed and resolved smoothly. All she does is, introduce you to the reality that you might be ignoring, to the extent that you want to stop and ponder for a few minutes. 

I urge you to grab a copy right now and devote a weekend to reading and absorbing this story. It has given me a few ideas that I want to think more about and discuss. I will soon be posting blogs on the same for you to experience what I felt. I hope that those of you who read would be interested in connecting with me so that we can discuss this story further.

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