2012 Nights, Vipul Rikhi, Fingerprint, Rs.195.

Convinced that the world is going to end soon, a paranoid and drunk writer begins to tell his cat tales. Fables of compassion and greed, destruction and creation, loss and search — the stories come tumbling out of his mouth. Do all the tales really end here? Or do they only begin? The answers are, perhaps, Two Thousand and Twelve.

The Harbinger: Patchwork, Neerja Gaurie, Frog Books, Rs.195.

The setting is in sylvan and pristine, forested and mountainous surroundings, a solitary figure leading a soulful solitary life. The woman describes her passage through life by jottings that reflect her moods…travails and happy moments, intricately woven that emerge as “patchwork”. This could be the story of any woman anywhere.

Flora, Gail Godwin, Bloomsbury, Rs.499.

This is Gail Godwin’s 14 novel. She evokes shades of The Turn of the Screw as she explores the inequality of relationships between adults and children in a taut, subtle and moving tale of love, regret and the things we can’t undo. Ten-year-old Helen and her summer guardian, Flora, are isolated together in Helen’s decaying family house while her father is doing secret war work in Oak Ridge during the final months of the Second World War. A fiercely imaginative child, Helen is desperate to keep her house intact with all its ghosts and stories. Flora, her late mother’s cousin, is determined to do her best for Helen. Their relationship and its fallout will haunt Helen for the rest of her life.

Parul, Harsha V. Dehejia, Roli Books, Rs.495.

Praful is a professor, a dyed-in-the-wool academic. Parul is a sensual, earthy woman who believes in the veracity of love. A chance meeting between the two leads not only to a romantic relationship but becomes a dialogue between two philosophical systems. In this romantic relationship, there is the spiritual quest of ultimate reality along with the pleasures of the sound of the wind and the song of a bird.

The Homing Pigeons, Sid Bahri, Srishti Publishers, Rs.150.

In the middle of the catastrophic 2008 recession, Aditya, an unemployed man meets an attractive stranger in a bar. Little does he know that his life will change forever. When Radhika, a young, rich widow, marries off her stepdaughter, little does she know that the freedom she has yearned for is not exactly how she had envisioned it. They say homing pigeons always come back to their mate, no matter where you leave them. This is a story of love between two unsuspecting characters.

House of Cards, Sudha Murty, Penguin Books, Rs.250.

Mridula is a bright, young woman with enormous enthusiasm for life. A chance meeting with Sanjay, a talented but impoverished doctor, leads to love and the couple marry. Trouble brews when Sanjay quits his government job and starts an immensely successful private practice. With affluence comes greed, and the inevitable slide into corrupt practices. This intricately woven novel explores human relationships in detail.

More In: Books