Book Review: Story of Sita (DNF)

Title: Story of Sita
Author: Nabeena Srikanth
Publisher: Inkstate- Leadstart Publishers
Pages: 326
ISBN: 978-9352019496
Source: Publisher

Book Review

‘Story of Sita’ aims at presenting the Ramayana from Sita’s perspective. Sita is my favourite character from the Ramayana and undoubtedly the one for whom everyone feels. So, a retelling of the Ramayana from Sita’s perspective is really a great idea for me.

The book has an impressive blurb and the cover of the book is beautiful too. I started reading this book with high expectations. But all my expectations came thrashing down after reading the initial 2-3 chapters. Things did not work for me, but I kept reading in the hope to find what I was promised. Finally, I stopped after reading more than 100 pages. I had a lot of problems with this book.

Firstly, the author presents certain characters in a completely different light. Kaikeyi, for instance, is shown as a vamp from the beginning itself while Manthra is shown as a righteous lady. It is acceptable. But later we see Bharat torturing both Kaikeyi & Manthra, which is completely opposed to his true nature.

The author presents a bit different story from what we have heard. While some people might like this version of the story and applaud her for her imagination, I didn’t like it. We see Lakshman, Sita, Urmila & Sumitra overhearing Kaikeyi’s plan of manipulating Dasharatha to send Rama to exile. Yet they’re unable to stop it. Further, the exile for Rama comes as a punishment for having conspired against the King & making him announce Rama’s coronation during Kaikeyi’s absence from the court.

Basically the overall plot remains the same but there are some slight changes in the story. And unfortunately, I didn’t like these variations. Another thing that I didn’t like is the language which the characters use. My personal belief is that decorum (to some extent) has to be observed in every literary form. Here is what Shatrugana says to Lakshman & Urmila at a point:

“Oh my gosh you two!” said Shatruguna. “It is getting kind of gooey here. I think I will go back to see if the refreshments have been served indoors. You take your time smooching this out between the two of you.”

Now these are things that may be overlooked if we are getting what we expect from the book. But I didn’t get what I was looking for. We do not find Sita’s perspective. She appears just like any other character. The author uses an omniscient point of view but even that would have worked well if it was closely following Sita’s perspective. And this was my major concern with this book. All I wanted was to know how all the things appeared to Sita. But this book is just another retelling of the book.

Since I didn’t get what I expected from this book, I couldn’t appreciate the other things that this book had to offer. I thought there was no use of reading what I didn’t want to. So, after much deliberation I decided to DNF it.

My Rating: ** (2/5)

What do you think about this book? What are your views on the author’s version of this story? And which is your favourite retellimg of the Ramayana? Do share your views. Thanks.

*I received a review copy from the Publisher. Views expressed are entirely personal & unbiased.*

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Story of Sita (DNF)

  1. That sums up perfectly well..!!
    I wanted to like this book so much, because a female author writing about a female character is expected to give the depth in character. But the author completely took over the character, and instead showed other character equal importance.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: January Wrap Up (Books & Life) | Books N Myself

  3. These are some very interesting comments. My inspiration for the book was my teenage children when they questioned the dogmatic practises. I dropped the decorum of language to make Sita the girl next door for them I do encourage you to finish the book given that it is a free copy anyway with this in mind. I want our children to believe that these characters are human and are the ancient history of our land. That we flew airplanes when the Europeans were still scratching on cave walls.


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