Anukrti Upadhyay reviews Naheed Phiroze Patel’s A Mirror Made of Rain (HarperCollins, 2021) and explores how the story is all about unexamined hurts.
I read Naheed Phiroze Patel’s sensitive first novel, A Mirror Made of Rain, with my heart in my mouth, like you watch a wilful child run down a slope just beyond the reach of your arm. You see the danger of the thorn trees and sharp rocks, of the steep gradient and merciless drop and, unable to do anything, look on with mounting anxiety. That’s how I felt as I followed the protagonist, Noomi, a character at once lost and precocious, through her journey from a love and attention starved rebellious girlhood to a young motherhood, finally finding her axis, howsoever wobbly.
A Mirror is the story of young Noomi who is being raised in a dysfunctional family. An alcoholic mother, a non-confrontational father, a manipulative extended family and no steadying influence in her life. Though Noomi is the protagonist, the center piece of the narrative is her mother’s alcoholism which puts unbearable stress on the family as a whole, and particularly at the young and impressionable Noomi, at first bewildered and then angry at the absence of love in her life.