As I had read Recalcitrance the prequel to Remembrance, it is logical that I read the second book too. The backdrop of the first book is the revolt of 1857 in Lucknow and Remembrance picks up right from where Recalcitrance left.
The revolt of 1857 has been crushed and the people are now trying to pick up the treads of their life. Lucknow is the backdrop of Remembrance too. Many of the characters remain the same. Chote Bhaiya remains the main protagonist and he still wants to connect with Farheen, his lady love. However the milieu has changed now. From the hope of freedom, prudence and shifting alliances are in the air. There are revolutionaries still, but the atmosphere around them have changed.
Apart from the main story there are many characters and plots in the book, each engaging in its own way. In this book the main character, Chote Bhaiya, has a wife, a deep rooted love and a fleeting alliance and yet I never managed to hate him for being misogynist. That in itself is quite big feat I guess. There is tension in the air, in every relationship that is portrayed.
More than the revolution and the love stories, I enjoyed the everyday scenes like the one around the old zamindar, the world woven around Farheen’s husband. It feels quite connected and earthy. And it is not black and white.
I also enjoyed the commentary on the changing social class, the shifting alliances with the British and how all this affects commerce, everyday business and ultimately lives.
The book once again ends up on a hopeful note. After completing it, I was wondering if Anurag has left the scope for another book in the series but can’t make it out for sure. To me the story looks settled but then I think if he wants to there is scope for something more.