The Diary On The Fifth Floor by Raisha Lalwani
Genre: Indian, Women’s Fiction
Swathi’s Rating: 3.5/5
Verdict: A spellbinding page-turner that keeps the readers from page one. A hanky is recommended for sensitive readers.
So I spent 4 hours reading this surreal book yesterday and I am so glad to be sharing my reviews on it. Go ahead and read the plot.
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?Amazon
Raisha’s tryst with writing is quite a story in itself. She grew up in Jaipur ,Delhi & Dubai taking a little bit of each city as a character in her own life. An alum of University of Delhi along with a masters in International Business, writing came as a natural but unplanned twist in her life. Raisha’s journey with writing goes all the way back to her childhood, where she looked at her varied experiences living across different cities as distinct characters in her own story. Raisha is voicing herself against patriarchy and sharing her experiences as a women in the world.
It was the unusual element of the plot that intrigued me to pick this book. the first thing I noticed is the title names given to each chapters. Chapters are merely a page long and the names are appropriately given based on what they seem to represent. Most of the chapters are in the form of diary entries of Ms. Khanna that are read by the psychiatrist Dr. Berry or by Ms. Khanna herself as a part of her meeting with the doctor.
These diary entries forms the main and integral part of this Novela, which is a collection of Savannah’s own day-to-day events or her observation of other people’s life that had affected her. Savannah’s struggle to grasp between reality and fiction is clearly displayed in her Diary entries as Dr. Khanna dissects her tales from own life misery.
I am so glad to be reading a lot of psychological Fiction from Indian writers in the recent days. It is very essential and reflects the mental state of the generation tangled in the web of technology. The author has brilliantly made sure to focus only on what she wanted to convey through the book, thereby excluding the elements like location, setting, background of the protagonist.
There are only two characters – Savannah Khanna and Dr. Berry. The psychologist is defined as the best in town, calm and collected older woman, while Ms. Khanna is in her 20s. She works for a renowned event management company. None of these details are described as extra passages – they’re up for grabs along the diary entries for the readers.
Something I loved about – The usage of seasons to describe the mental health of the protagonist.
Overall, I recommend this book to the young people who are having a bad day at work, a stressful week, difficult time in a relationship, to binge read this book. The book could reflect the reader’s state of mind accurately and even offer much needed condolences that a friend could provide.
I received a copy of this book as a part of a review program by V Influencers.
My review remains honest and unbiased.