Invisible Threads is a story of recently widowed Sara, a British therapist, who while grappling with her loss is led circumstantially to seek answers from the mystical and spiritual land of India. After living and losing herself in her quest in India, a country in transition, she finds the immutable truth.
Lucy Beresford sensitively portrays a palpable sadness as Sara broods over her lost love, the love of a good man who was a visionary and had hopeful plans even in Afghanistan. But nothing is what it seems. Sara has hardly recovered from the bereavement when she learns that her husband in reality died in India and that too probably as an undercover agent of the army. In a bid to find answers she travels to the chaotic country while extending her practice in Delhi. Her grief is shrouded with conflict with the new found secret life of her husband; she starts questioning the man, their relationship, and diabolically herself. The author skilfully crafts the narration mirroring the contradictions of India—‘made up of slums and celebrities, ruins and skyscrapers, tolerances and prejudices . . . as life has death threaded invisibly through it’—emphasising Sara’s dilemma of her relation with her husband.
Stumbling her way through in the foreign country (spoiler alert) Sara witnesses the chilling practice of Devadasi—prostitutes who work at temples—evocatively displaying the shocking treatment of women in India. The stage for the story in Invisible Threads is set well but the characters are off-key and inconsistent in places yielding blandness to the storyline. The plot loses credibility when Sara’s boss, her favourite patient, her colleague, her neighbourhood, and her late husband in his last undercover assignment are all too conveniently embroiled in women-trafficking and prostitution racket. Predictably, Sara rescues her patient from a brothel and ultimately finds herself.
Rating 3 / 5.
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Shrutika Mathur is an editorial intern at Open Road Review.