Book Review: Mystery of the ‘stolen’ baton

You are a chef and restaurateur and your business thrives upon a recipe that was passed on to you from your ancestors. While chasing your dreams, you stumble upon love.

And what kind of a love is one which does not teach you something about yourself that you didn't know till then? But, what if added to it is a history that connects your ancestors with theirs? Also, is your recipe really an exclusive family secret?

Call it destiny’s ways or pure co-incidence, that's how Junaid (of Fatehgarh) discovers more about his grandfather after whom he was named. The story takes you from present to the last few years of the British Raj in India. Not only the turmoil faced by different characters, but also the strength to face them is bestowed upon the reader.

However, the storytelling pace may seem slow with some areas stretched beyond necessity. The quest to solve the mystery behind the family recipe takes the reader through many lanes but things do get predictable at times.

The reader felt devoid of certain emotions (for example, no unnecessary weeping even at the most fragile moments) while reading the book, probably because that’s how the author wanted to portray Junaid’s point of view and that's a victory for the author.

The loopholes are few and the reader can tide over them to experience a tale of generations. It is philosophical in many ways and leaves the reader with a profound message — even though things can go terribly wrong within families, turning back years later often puts many things in a better perspective.