Review: Side by Side by Anita Kushwaha
Kavita Gupta is a woman in transition. When her troubled older brother, Sunil, disappears, she does everything in her power to find him, convinced that she can save him. Ten days later, the police arrive at her door to inform her that Sunil’s body has been found. Her world is devastated. She finds herself in crisis mode, trying to keep the pieces of her life from falling apart even more. As she tries to cope with her loss, the support system around her begins to unravel. Her parents’ uneasy marriage seems more precarious. Her health is failing as her unprocessed trauma develops into more sinister conditions. Her marriage suffers as her husband is unable to relate to her loss. She bears her burden alone, but after hitting her lowest point, she knows she needs to find a better way of coping. Desperate for connection, she reaches out to a bereavement group, where she meets Hawthorn, a free-spirited young man with whom she discovers a deep connection through pain. After being blindsided by a devastating marital betrayal, she wonders if a fresh start is possible in the wake of tragedy. Will she escape her problems and start over? Or will she face the challenges of rebuilding the life she already has? Side by Side is a story about loss, growth and the search for meaning in the wake of tragedy, illuminated through one woman’s journey from harm to care.
This was one of those books that reach a part of you that you can’t describe in words. Partly at the moment, dealing with my own familial grief, this book has really brought to the center many emotions as well as comfort. This was a book that reaches to the deepest part of your soul, grabs your heart and illuminates your mind to the resilient strength of a woman finding the light through the darkest despair of grief.
This book has many layers that draw out thought provoking moments. This is a beautifully written book that brings you emotionally and physically to a place of empathy, compassion and conscious to the depth of the affects of grief one person can bare. What do you do when someone you loves dies so tragically? The intensity of love one shares with that love one can cripple your existence, especially when no one understands or feels your pain.
Side by Side, introduces us to Kavita Gupta. For those of you lucky to have a sibling that you are really close with, than you will be able to relate to this character. I love the bond that she has with her brother. When he succumbs to his emotional captivity and is found dead, I appreciate the delicacy of the series of events that led up to that moment. It was humane, compassionate and showed another perspective, one that is not often allowed to be heard under the circumstances.
The emotional journey of guilt, wandering if you made a different decision would they still be here. The overwhelming feeling of your heart broken, unable to put the puzzle together back of your life without him complementing the other pieces. This weighing heavy on her life including her marriage, familial obligations, the decline of her family and cultural influences, she tries to find her way through while everything else if falling down around her.
I found this book a true blessing in my life right now. I found it extremely comforting and Kavita’s journey a real help to my own grieving process. Overall, the book was a beautiful gift of words that will move and resonate with those who can relate. The vulnerability and authenticity of Kavita and her family allow us an unspoken invitation to their lives to experience their journey that I’m sure will leave a memorable impression beyond reading this book. This was a wonderful book that I would definitely recommend reading.