BOOK REVIEW: THE DIARY ON THE FIFTH FLOOR BY RAISHA LALWANI

BOOK BLURB:
A woman leaves her infant at home but finds her on a busy street in an unexpected turn of events.
Another woman wakes up in a flight hours later, befuddled, in the strangest circumstance.
A fascinating tale of a twenty-five-year-old woman that takes hold of us from the moment she enters the fifth floor of a hospital; more precisely, the psychiatric ward. Visibly terrified, she clutches at her clothbound diary, caught in the horns of a terrible dilemma—whether or not to hand over the diary to the doctor. She fears that she will be declared insane if her tangled web of thoughts unspooling in dark mysterious stories is read by the dissecting eye of a doctor.
What does this diary contain? As the novel progresses, we are drawn into characters and stories that are toe-curling, strange, and haunting in their raw intensity. What is the story of this woman? What secrets lie in the pages of her diary? And most importantly, what happens on the fifth floor?


MY REVIEW:
After reading the blurb, I decided to read this intriguing story. The story opens up with the 25 year old girl, Savannah Khanna's appointment with Dr. Rama Berry, city's best Psychiatrist. Savannah carries a blue diary with her in which she has shared diary entries of events, that she has experienced or heard of. These experiences has deeply disturbed her as she thinks deeply about the unbearable pain of other people. Initially she hesitates in revealing her identity and giving her diary to Dr. Rama, as she feels that if she or anyone else will come to know about her thoughts, then she might not understand her or might think of her as insane. But Dr Rama plays a strong character of an elderly lady with a calm smile and firm voice, who is understanding and really made Savannah feel comfortable. She shares with her the things she hear and see and the things that affects her. She can't be herself like most of us. And while expressing all this her eyes gleamed with unshed tears.


This book talks about many things. It shows how insensitive people have become in today's times and how people behave maliciously on occasions. They have become so self-centred that they don't even care about what is happening in other's life. The question here is how could they not see? How could they not see their wrong doing? Through her book she makes us to question ourselves and find the answer to the questions: 
WHEN DID WE BECOME SO DEVOID OF FEELINGS? 
WHEN DID WE BECOME PEOPLE WE USED TO HATE? 
AND MAIN QUESTION IS DO WE EVEN LIKE WHO WE HAVE BECOME. 


WHAT I LOVED THE MOST IN THIS BOOK:
I loved the thoughtful conversation between Savannah and Dr Rama. When they are talking, I was eagerly waiting to hear the answers by Dr. Rama because not only Savannah is looking for some answers but we all are looking for answers. She is no different from many of us. Her character is very much relatable. Author Raisha has created a compelling character Savannah in her novel and her character will be able to strike a chord with many of her readers. This is a story of experiences that something everyone goes through in life. Vast majority of people are still figuring out what their life is.
After reading this book I felt that we just need to pause..pause to think what we have become.

Then in this book it is very well explained the dilemma of a person with a troubled mind like they want to seek help or they need people to hear them but their doubts keep them away from doing this. But I really appreciate the courage of Savannah who despite her self-doubts went to Dr. Rama. And Dr Rama too well played her part with the advices that are something you will definitely love to read and follow in your life.

I fell in love with the writing style of the author or I would say I fell in love with the author who writes from her heart. She writes so that SHE GET TO MEET ANOTHER SIDE OF HER! Wow!!..She is perfectly honest in her writing and has genuinely tried to feel another's pain. Not just this she has done a brilliant job in penning down the exact emotions experienced by the people in the stories. I would also say that the character of Savannah that Author has created comes from a strongly-held values just like the author. I feel connected with the character. Author thinks deeply and at length. 

The book cover is intriguing and the title is apt. The character construction is very well done and we will see that most of the characters are relatable which we see around in our everyday lives. The story flows so smoothly. The best part is everything is covered really well in this book including our relationships, our belief system, education, parenting style,

 I DID NOT LIKE SOMETHING IN THE BOOK BUT THEN...

While reading the book I found the stories upsetting and I was thinking why Author is writing all negative things that exists in society. From reading this book I could make out that Author has sensitive mind and depth vision. But then I realised that written words have more credibility and if she will express her thoughts that only people will get more aware of themselves and their surroundings. When this book can change me then I feel it can bring a change in lots of people. It did get me thinking. Moreover, the convinced me that  there is also positivity and hope in the book which reaffirms my faith in this saying- THE WORLD IS NOT AS EVIL AS WE THINK OF IT. This is a a unique attempt at storytelling in which author makes an effort  to let the world read a little bit about themselves! 


RATING:

I could only give 5/5 stars for this remarkable book as this story will stay with me forever! 

WHY I WOULD LIKE TO RECOMMEND THIS BOOK?
Because I learned from her writing! I have learnt a lot from this book. Now you will ask what? My answer would be I have learnt to be a good human being! This book will question you and compel you to find the solutions. I liked reading these short stories as they are inspired by real events.

Let me give you a glimpse of Author's wonderful writing by sharing the lines I loved in the book.

"When the most called number is no longer a contact in your phonebook."

"We pretend. We smile. We bury the pain so deep inside that there is no way it would dare to resurface."
" We plan and plan for tomorrow. We hardly speak our minds or our hearts. Sometimes, it's our busy lives, at other times, our ego."

"Healthy minds should be able to experience and grow, and for that trust is required."

" Little did they know that it wasn't only the furniture that was cheap."

" We lived in a world where our egos, our issues keep us from complementing other people."
" Maybe some of the problems in my life are only because I don't value how much I do have."

" When dessert was the only thing that was considered to be kept cold,
When eyes could express feelings and memories were not sold."

" You never really grow in until something bad happens to you, since that's what gets you thinking in the first place."

" I am classy simply because I respect myself." 

"She wished there was a place where one could go and buy the people they wanted in their lives."

"Eight heartbeats later, her call was answered."


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Raisha Lalwani, a reader by day and a writer by night, is a content homemaker. Her passion for writing started at an early age and has been growing since. After being trained as a singer in classical Hindustani music, she later went on to get a Master’s in International Business. She has lived in Mumbai, Jaipur, Delhi, and Dubai. Her need to pen things down has lead to her debut novel, The Diary on the Fifth Floor. A fine line between fact and fiction, this book is a collection of short stories in the form of diary entries.

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