Title: The Diary On The Fifth Floor
Author: Raisha Lalwani
Format: Paperback /Kindle Edition
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Length: 184 pages
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?
The book is a rather short and a quick read and this is not just because of the limited number of pages but because right from the start the book is so engaging that it becomes very hard to keep this book aside. It took me less than even 24 hours to complete this book and that is how involved I was in it right from the start. The protagonist of the book, Savannah Khanna is very relatable at least for me. His involvement to small and big things around, the ever-questioning nature, the lack of trust I humanity and the constant feeling of things not being right is portrayed just perfectly by the writer through the short stories that have been in the diary. Another important character in the book, Dr. Rama Berry serves as a guiding light not just for Savannah but I would say for anyone who faces the similar dilemmas like her. Somewhere between the first two sessions of Savannah the track of the book is not very clear but that soon holds a grip as the readers proceed further. And even when the readers are up on figuring out the direction in which the book is going, they are still so engaged. The short stories are all written in a manner that pulls the reader right into it and at the end pushes them out with a jolt and this is just what happens at the very end of the book. The readers will go about reading the book to find out what exactly happens on the fifth floor and at the end when they really find it out it will be an unexpected jolt. The book is as therapeutic for the readers as it is for Savannah. The language is not just simple but also captivating. This book is a very engaging, delightful fiction to read.