Book Review of When Will You Die? By Jayanthi Sankar

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A story shrouded in melancholy that could not have better depicted a true slice of life, “When Will You Die?” by Jayanthi Sankar is a piece of writing that will surely make an impression upon the minds of all those who devour its intense plot, brilliantly woven characters, and profound writing skill. With this one, Jayanthi has managed to capture the true essence of interpersonal relationships, leaving the reader in awe of her understanding of human emotions and relationships.

Interpersonal relationships are often the mirror which silently reflects what we go through, albeit from a corner. The glint is proof that we are in the midst of something…

Yes, interpersonal relationships are complex territory. It is not like we are not a part of them or so, it’s just that sometimes in life, we are faced with a scenario wherein we know what is happening but dare not acknowledge it, trying to face the elephant in the room and reducing the molehill back to a mole.

When Will You Die? by Jayanthi Sankar is a story wherein the complexity of such interpersonal relationships and emotions has been explained so beautifully that I was amazed by how much this book held within its pages.

You know that is the best thing about some books. Akin to a swab cloth of sorts, which simply envelops and shrouds all it encounters coyly and yet when you wring it, all that ever comes out is simply going to be the pure essence of interpersonal emotions which are complex, intense and yet nevertheless form the crux of humanity.

The story whose characters have been infused with so much to offer that it is sure to tug at the chords of your heartstrings, “When will you die “is a book that has loads to offer in spite of being pretty compact. A plot that deals with fostering relationships, here is a mirror which examines these minutely, bringing out the tiniest and yet the most important details, delving you deep within the realities of this journey called life, making you fathom its depths and dive through its qualms.

Yes, the title was indeed a clickbait of sorts for me, as it had me hooked, right from the moment I came across it, waiting to delve into what it had to offer. The story of Susan and Suiyi was something I completely could relate to, the way they were pen pals, sharing their woes and worries, sharing a part of themselves. On the other hand, the way she raises Joseph like a mother of sorts, the relationship equation the half-brother shares with the sister, and how their relationship changes over the years. 

Yes, life is sometimes so strange, keeping you at a juncture where you are simply compelled to do little beyond a point except let time take its course. Be it the relationship ergonomics depicted between Suiyi, and Susan or between Susan and Jo as well as other characters, Jayanthi has moulded it in a manner wherein as each layer unravels, a different hue, a new facet of an interpersonal relationship is brought to light, in an intense, yet refreshing manner. 

What exists between these two is a strange, and complex, relationship that is platonic in many regards. Susan experiences neutrality as far as her camaraderie with Suiyi, is concerned; their relationship is not able to be defined by love, like a quiet river lacking waves of intensity as well as the depth of oneness.

Also what I really loved was how Jo expressed his inner true feelings, his qualms, and his thoughts towards his sister Susan through some emails which were unsent. Those unsent emails were like a vat full of emotions bubbling away, somewhere making me unsettled and yet unravelling many aspects at once. There were emails from Suiyi to Susan, all depicting one’s point of view and their thoughts toward the other, unfiltered, making me realise how strange, complex, and difficult life can get sometimes.

What I really marvelled at was how Jayanthi managed to gel the different sub ideas such as the tete-a-tete between grandparents and siblings, the ergonomics between a couple, and their relationship expectations and goals. Profound yet poignant, this one surely caught my attention span as soon as I began this, kept me hooked on the rigmarole it had to offer, coyly leading me onto a different aspect, a different flavour that sometimes incorporates. 

So, there is more than meets the eye with this one, as Jayanthi has managed to load so much by way of a non-verbal depiction of sorts, through the characters’ rendezvous, their untold secret emotions, their unfound and unaddressed truths, and a lot more. This story, a brilliant piece of writing, addresses what we all tend to ignore and push under the carpet all the time—the elephant, which is always present in the room but which we continue to avoid for the rest of our lives for fear of one thing or another.

Also by Jayanthi Sankar:

Yes, life is full of choices, and happiness is a choice, as is contentment. Either one decides to take all that comes their way in stride, facing the bull, aka the problems, head-on along the way, or they can choose to cower in a corner, blaming things on fate. Either way, the choice is what makes the difference.

When Will You Die?

Neelam Sharma
Author: Jayanthi Sankar



Disarmingly, charmingly simple, this book will give readers much to think about. – Usha Nagasamy, Further Education teacher, London

When will you die?- an emotion in itself that many of us avoid and fear comes out as a beautiful literary rendition by Jayanthi Sankar and will stay a mystery and an enigma years after its time and haunt our hidden traumas, insecurities in ways we could never imagine. – Sredhanea Ramakrishnan, Food technologist and upcoming author, India

A great story; bookmark this one if you want to read a story marked with dysphoria, aka melancholy “in a blue funk.” I hope you guys liked the book review of When Will You Die? By Jayanthi Sankar

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