Book Review of Muskaan Shah's 'Home in the Hill' by teen author Vishwesh Desai


vishwesh desai

Most of us have an enormous repertoire of memories about growing up with our grandparents and extended family. No matter what the length of time you have spent with your grandparents and cousins, the very thought of them is enough to bring a smile to your face – that is, when you’re not pulling your hair out in sheer exasperation!

Muskaan Shah’s collection of short stories, “Home in the Hill,” brings together ten short stories about the delightful relationship between a little girl and her grandmother, inspired by her own experiences with her grandmothers. She crafts an idyllic world, replete with the titular house in the hills, an annoying-yet-adorable neighbour, and a whole host of cousins and friends, taking the readers along for the adventures of this cast.

The stories are simple, uncomplicated and speak of a time left behind – one of unadulterated sweetness sprinkled with memorable relationships. Although the characters are largely based on the author’s family, one can’t help but notice some resemblances to the famous cousins in Enid Blyton’s books. Dog included.

Shah has woven her memories into a vast array of stories such as surprising her grandmother on her birthday but getting the recipe wrong to her great chagrin, the inexplicable fascination of watching her grandma’s small hill town rebuild itself after a landslide, sharing the secret of great hair with her friend’s mother, and the inevitable heartbreak that comes with growing up – all interspersed and interlaced with pearls of wisdom from Grandma.

Written predominantly in a narrative style, the stories’ themes range from the unshakeable love between grandmother and grandchild and the unspoken bond between grandma and her neighbour to the inescapable little jealousies that arise amongst people in a small town.

Muskaan Shah
Muskaan Shah with the first copy of the book

Although a first-time effort, Home in the Hill : a Granddaughter’s tales of childhood adventure is a good read for the sheer innocence that it takes you back to. While dark tales of horror and dystopia are sweeping literary scenes throughout the world, this collection, which reads almost like the diary of a preteen, takes you back to a simpler, better time.

Vishwesh Desai is a prodigious teenager who published his first book while he was just fourteen. His book ‘Shadows of Northlands’ is a swashbuckling fantasy with riveting narrative laden with mystery and adventure. The book has received rave reviews and veteran authors like Ashok Banker have complimented Vishwesh for his fierce imagination and deemed him as a ‘born writer’. Vishwesh has been awarded with the ‘Rana Kapoor Young Talent Award 2016’ by Kumaon Literary Festival, Yes Bank and Yes Institute.
Know more about Vishwesh Desai here:

Find Muskaan Shah’s book here: Home in the Hill

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