Book review of The Search by Sajita Nair

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The Search

Neelam Sharma,



Can Laya come to terms with her own identity? Would the society and her parents accept her after knowing the path she has chosen for herself?


Sometimes, we make certain choices which might lead to a path full of hindrances on the way. These are choices which are difficult, with the capacity to alter our vision and perspective towards life entirely. At times, we are unsure of how dire the consequences might become. Yes, we are aware of the fact that we would face a lot of challenges if we embarked on that journey, but we do it anyway. And it is this human dilemma of making choices that The Search studies in detail.

Although the very premise of The Search is based on how our orphaned protagonist tries to find her biological parents, the book also metaphorically unveils a person’s quest to find the right choice before making it. Human beings, after all, are far superior to other living beings in terms of the intellect; and that is exactly what complicates our understanding of the world we live in. The beauty of The Search coincides with the sorrowful aspect of the storyline to a great extent. Well, that is because The Search simultaneously throws light on the frailty of decisions, especially when the lives of human beings is just an existence based on ‘trial and error’. Even then, The Search witnesses how these same mistakes help shape people into the kind of individuals they are today.

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The protagonist of the novel, Laya, is an eighteen-year old woman who loses her virginity to her boyfriend. When Laya discovers her pregnancy, both her friends and boyfriend convince her to abort it. However, after second thoughts, she decides to confide it to her foster parents; who eventually react in the same way. So, does she actually go for the abortion or not? For that, you will have to read the book by yourself! At the end of the day, you need to experience firsthand the prowess of the author to present something so pivotal and universal such as the human dilemma of making decisions. I am impressed by how fabulously the author has woven the storyline in a very systematic manner. The plot is given ample space to thrive on concepts such as responsibility, farsightedness, an individual’s future; and most importantly, the necessity to think twice before taking a step, no matter how big or small it is. Rash decisions never have a good outcome, and The Search indirectly hints at the same. Moreover, the book reminded me of the 2016 film, Lion, starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. The quest to discover one’s roots begins with the discovery of one’s biological parents. Both Laya and Saroo (from the film) are desperate to find the truth but in vain. They eventually realize the fact that it is best to accept the circumstances they are in. After all, Laya as well as Saroo were brought up by foster parents who supported them in every turn of their life. As Laya herself believes, the adoration and love she received from her foster parents, despite her insecurity regarding the possibility of them abandoning her someday, is invaluable for certain.

Another important factor I would like to address is the brilliant cast of characters. The practicality with which the reasons why both her boyfriend and her friends ask her to opt for the abortion are justified makes sure that the story does not go overboard; and I think it is because of this very element that The Search becomes such a realistic novel addressing real-life situations. Besides the brilliant narrative, I am in awe of how well the author has brought in a perfect balance of despair and hope, gradually concluding the plot with a chance for the protagonist to lead a happy life. After all, we yearn for happy endings more than realism, don’t we? My best wishes to the author for her upcoming projects.

5 Books for you if like Contemporary Fiction
  • Three Junes by Julia Glass
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • A Little Life Paperback by Hanya Yanagihara  
  • Beartown by Fredrik Backman 
  • It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover 
Pick the book if
  • You love reading Contemporary Fiction
  • You love reading about Family

Skip the book if

  • You don’t like reading Contemporary Fiction
  • You don’t like reading about Family issues
Age Group

15 years and above


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