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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
If you enjoy short fiction with well-drawn characters, settings, and plots, Radha's Revenge & Other Stories by Gopal Ramanan may be for you. These twelve tales are vignettes of everyday life in the bustling cities and rural villages of India. Several explore inspirational themes about charity, compassion, and goodness which can transform lives, while others offer a poignant or humorous study in human nature. Whether it’s an orphan living with a miserly uncle, an uneducated shoeshine boy, a grieving widower, two friends vying for the same young woman, a mechanic with debt, a young woman falling in love with a neighbor, or a mother needing money for her daughter’s wedding, the characters and their emotions quickly become real and relatable. Several illustrations add to the reader’s enjoyment.
In Radha's Revenge & Other Stories, Gopal Ramanan masterfully brings his characters, settings, and plots to life. I felt the broken heart, the joy, the grief, the regret, and the triumph as the characters moved through the sometimes surprising plot lines. My favorites are those in which the best qualities of human character are juxtaposed against the worst and the best wins, though I also enjoyed those stories that took a little poke at our human foibles, machinations, and the materialism of the modern world. Positive values of family and faith are threads that run throughout. Compassion, mercy, generosity, and honesty are rewarded, misbehavior is exposed, and we can smile at a prank or two while we’re touched by the deep emotions of love and loss. A wonderful collection.