Sruthi Writes: What Mina Did? by Geeta Menon (Guest Review)

Sruthi Writes: What Mina Did? by Geeta Menon (Guest Review)

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What Mina Did by Geetha Menon


1998. Twenty-two-year-old Mina is moving to the US from Bangalore to begin a new life with her husband. Then there’s a horrific murder and her life is turned upside down. Mina’s best friend Neelu helps her out of the abyss.

Mina gradually leaves her past behind and settles into a new life in the US. Years later, she is forced to return to India and is confronted by the demons from her past. In her fragile mental state, she is unable to support Neelu in her time of need.

Their friendship hits rock bottom. Mina goes back to the US and faces further hurdles, this time on the work front. She tries to make amends with Neelu, but their friendship ends with Neelu accusing Mina of something unimaginable
related to the murder.

Something, that deep down, Mina knows is true…

Will Mina redeem herself? Will the people she loves forgive her for what she did?

Alternating between flashbacks and the present day, What Mina Did explores how one betrayal can have catastrophic consequences, while delving into the complex bonds that link mothers and daughters, and best friends.

Published Date: June, 2019.

Sruthi’s Rating: 7da1c-il_794xn.1430513132_kmuv 7da1c-il_794xn.1430513132_kmuv 7da1c-il_794xn.1430513132_kmuv e3795-il_794xn.1430513132_kmuv


Links: Goodreads, Amazon

Sruthi’s Review

Alternating between the years 1998 and 2002, this book tells the story of Mina, who lives in the US along with her husband and daughter. She returns to India for the first time after her wedding and is immediately confronted by the demons of her past. She is reminded of a horrific incident that took place years back (which continues to haunt her relentlessly). Her friend, Neelu, had helped her get through this trial by always being there for her; but when Mina doesn’t return the favour at her hour of need, an infuriated Neelu lashes out and accuses her of being the cause behind the gruesome event that happened in 1998–and deep down, Mina knows it is true.

You will have to read the book to know whether she redeems herself, reconciles a broken friendship, and if the people she loves forgive her for what she did.

When I read the blurb I assumed this book might be along the lines of a thriller, but it turned out to be a psychological drama with a troubled woman as its protagonist. Geeta Menon strongly focuses on psychological issues and the emotional and mental development of characters.

Now, Mina isn’t perfect and statements like ‘In Mina’s opinion, North Indians were more open minded and logical when it came to fashion’ made it really hard to like her, but reading about her incessantly battling an inner struggle made me feel for the character.

Her best friend Neelu is described as a warm and deeply affectionate person who is cautions by nature.

Vijay, Mina’s doting husband, was my favourite character in the book. When his wife’s behaviour is at odds with the interest of their family he lets her know about it, but continues to support her.

The author couldn’t have come up with a more apt title for this book; the entire story revolves around what Mina did/does. In a subtle way she shows that racism is not just confined to the West, as Indians have associated fair skin with high caste for centuries. I particularly enjoyed her illustration of how immigrants see their home country when they pay it a visit.

A moving tale about love, guilt, and friendship; with a handful of well-drawn characters, What Mina Did shows how regrets from your past can mar your present.


About Sruthi

Hi, I’m Sruthi. I’m an introvert who never leaves home without a book. While not reading I’m most likely to be watching reruns of The Office or F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I’m a sports (read: cricket and football) enthusiast and I absolutely adore M.S.Dhoni and Lionel Messi. I live in Chennai along with five dogs and a kitten that I foster.

Find Sruthi on: Instagram.

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