The Second Choice By Lakshmi Menon

    The story deals with the marriage of Pavithra and Venu, who unwillingly enter into matrimony a second time for the sake of their daughters, Anu and Indu. Pavithra lost her husband Anand after 4 years of marriage. Venu's wife, Soumya, gave him a divorce and asked him to remarry after she became paralysed.

    The plot unravels the complexities of longing and frustrations. Venu and Pavithra cannot understand each other. Their children find it hard to adjust to the situation. Although Soumya lives far away in Kerala she is an invisible presence in the house. The novel has a surprise ending.

    The author is a master story teller. She handles painful relationship with delicacy and skill. The narration is simple and from the heart. She involves us in the life of the characters who soon become part of our existence.

    A must read book for any one who cares about people. The Second Choice

    Simple yet effectively , the author has painted out scenarios from the lives of Pavithra and her family on the pages of her work The Second Choice. The ending was a little too much, just like most televised dramatic ends, with unnecessary twists and turns.
    The Second Choice after reading the reviews ...want to read it even more........... The Second Choice The story seemed to be real and can happen to anybody's life. It really inspire a woman who is not having much support from anybody.Really amazing The Second Choice This book - The Second Choice is authored by me, and it is my debut novel. The book format is available on amazon and smashwords. The Second Choice

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    A simple story well told. It throws interesting and arresting light on the institute called marriage. How a young widow goes on to marry a widower for the benefit of being the other (missing) parent to their step-daughters is depicted beautifully. This is Lakshi Menon's debut novel and it doesn't disappoint you. The ending is quite dramatic yet believable. The Second Choice This is a book about a woman of substance - Pavithra. The author, Lakshmi Menon has beautifully captured Pavithra’s growing maturity. From a timid young widow, totally dependent on her ageing father, she transforms into a person who is able to deal with the challenges of a second marriage, win her step daughter Indu over, continue to be a wonderful mother to her own daughter Anu, recognise the issues that her second husband Venu is dealing with and be a true sister to his first invalid wife Soumya. She learns to stand on her own feet not only financially but also emotionally and in realises that by giving back , one gets a lot more in return.

    Both Pavithra and Venu enter into a second marriage, for the sake of convenience. Venu needs a mother for his growing daughter Indu and Pavithra’s father, makes her realise that her four year old Anu needs a father and she needs a husband to protect her. After all, Pavithra hadn’t even finished her graduation and would not even be able to find gainful employment anywhere.

    Thus, begins their new journey. Venu is still in love with Soumya, his invalid ex-wife (she became paralysed during childbirth and divorced Venu, forcing him to enter into another marriage for his own sake and for the sake of their daughter). Pavithra wants to be forever loyal to the memory of her deceased husband and college sweetheart Anand. Thus, their marriage is just a platonic union.

    Pavithra’s faces many challenges, Indu is brainwashed by a childless neighbour, who used to find solace in tending to Indu. There are financial challenges, Venu shies away from sending a monthly allowance to his ex-wife who needs the money for her treatment. Pavithra, does not like this.

    She cajoles her father into sponsoring completion of her education and with the help of another kindly neighbour (in fact the only kindly neighbour, Mrs Joshi), Pavithra manages to find a temporary job in a bank, which later luckily translates into a permanent job. This gives rise to other problems. Venu doesn’t like her working. Is the real reason, that his role as a breadwinner is challenged? Or is it something else. Pavithra does some soul searching and realises, that Venu has fallen in love with her and wants to have a proper marital relationship. Moreso, she realises that she too has begun to care for and love Venu. A new chapter thus unfolds.

    Then, there is a sudden twist in the story. I will not add spoilers by saying anything more, but Pavithra continues to be true to her ideals and values. She does find fulfilment, but by following an unconventional path.

    The book has dealt beautifully with the entire range of complex human emotions and the interactions between not just Venu and Pavithra, but between all the characters in this book. The setting of a middle-class family in urban India is also realistically portrayed.

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    The Second Choice The Second Choice is Lakshmi Menon’s debut novel written in English, which is obvious from the wording. In some ways though this helps to get into the minds of the characters, and does not detract from the story in any way. It offers an insightful picture of family life in India. The family members are polite and deferential to each other, and show the care offered to their elders. It also shows the difficulties some women in India must still have to tolerate; being subservient to their husbands; having to ask their permission to get a job and making decisions for their children.

    Pavithra, the main character is forced by circumstances to enter into an arranged second marriage. It is a marriage of convenience for her and her husband, each left with a daughter to bring up. Pavithra suffers many years of loneliness, and suffers at the hands of her difficult step-daughter, but eventually her and her husband Venu begin a marriage in the proper sense of the word, and the step-daughter gradually accepts her as a mother.

    A shadowy figure always present in the background is Venu’s disabled first wife, who he has been unable to stop loving. When she begins to make a remarkable recovery it causes problems for the whole family. The ending is difficult to predict, which is good.

    An easy read, it stirs the emotions, and women especially will find themselves wondering what they would do if they found themselves in the same situation.

    Well done Lakshmi, I look forward to your next novel.
    The Second Choice I'm the author of this book.

    The Second Choice is a poignant story of two young people, Pavithra and Venu, who got into a second marriage when remarriage was not so common in India like today. It was not with their own interests, but for the daughters' sake they had to agree because of the pressure from their dear ones. It is the emotional story of this blended family, and will keep you turn the pages till the end.

    The printed copy is available on flipkart, infibeam, and Indiaplaza to buy online.

    The ebook version of this book is available online.


    smashwords The Second Choice The Second Choice by Lakshmi Menon is a book which showcases the priorities of a woman and the sacrifices which she is ready to make for her family, and most importantly, her children. The protagonist Pavithra's character is portrayed so well that you can't help but associate with her. You are happy when she is happy and you feel bad when she is sad. All in all, a beautiful story. The Second Choice