Zoya was written by the author Danielle Steel who is an American author who is known best for her romantic novels. This is one of few books written by a female author that I have read and I really loved the female protagonist. The story revolves around countess Zoya who had to endure a lot of struggles in her life. Born to a royal family and cousin of the king ruling Russia. Her family fell prey for revolution, killing her entire family leaving her and grandmother alive. A sudden shock to a happy to go 18-year-old girl born and grown in the great comfort of her palace in St Petersburg. She then moves to Paris with her grandmother and in order to survive she joined her dream ballerina troop and her only skill then was her ballet dancing skills. During the course of her life in paris, she fell in love with an American army soldier double her age. A life of poverty, heartbreak and further loves of loved ones in her family awaited her and made her life even more devasted and miserable. Finally, she married the love of her life Clayton Andrews and moved to New York
Well her drama doesn’t end here. She had entire drama unfolding her 19-year-old girl. What happens to her life? What surprises await her in the city of New York? What struggle does she have to still endure to finally reach where she wants to reach and achieve her dream? All this makes us more exciting read
Opinions and Rating:
I fell in love with the central character Zoya who is strong-headed and full of life. Despite what she had to go through her life and the motivation and her drive to achieve made not help her go up from rags to riches financially and but she was a gem of her person in real life. Her character and poise had an aura that attracted men to her in their life and other counterparts of the same gender. The way that she carried with her and never give up and her attitude towards life is I think women need to learn. She has been an extremely independent woman who loved to achieve and take difficulties in her stride and move on with life
One of my favorite and inspiring quote from the book :
“…But sometimes life made you give up what you loved most. Sometimes there were no compromises or bargains.”
The initial part of the book talks about his childhood, his upbringing and the struggles that he had to go through to get a proper education and till starts to face the realities of the world. His father was a chief himself kept Mandela’s childhood name as Rolihlahla which meant “Pulling a tree” or a Trouble Maker. He was connected with the Royal Thembu Dynasty. The early death of his father changes the circumstances of his life. He had to complete part of education with the help of his father’s friend who also was a chief. He had his education in the University of Fort Hare and later pursued Law. He shifted to Johnserburg where he was for a law firm where black people were allowed to work. Those days White people were considered superior and black weren’t. Everything was segregated for white and black people. Black or the Africans were considered in the low level i.e Slaves and weren’t considered worthy enough. Even today Racism is not completely eradicated in the world. It exists in some form or other and there are still victims of racism.
The book shifts talk about the life of black people and how they were regarded by white people in South Africa. He talks about the apartheid existence in the country and how he started his involvement started in the politics. The people who inspired him, the struggle of people around him, ignorance of the majority
He got himself in ANC(Africa national Congress) a party established in the year of 1912 with the aim of removal of apartheid, equal respect of African majority and fight against racism. He saw the struggle faced by his people and given the history motivated him to fight for the cause. He grew up and was became a well-known face on a fight against the cause and his fight for the nation spread. A fight like involves a lot of sacrifices and it happens at the expense of personal life. He even went to Jail in Robben Island for almost 30 years. After his release, he continued his fight and achieve d he stood for and this was a start of freedom of people and new directions in for South Africa.
Opinion and rating
A man truly need to look up for. Nelson Mandela stood up for what was right, his principles and moral values. He fought for the removal of apartheid, for Harmony of life among different races. Africans, Indians colored people to be treated as equal with the white and for equal rights. He stood to ground irrespective of the downfall and struggles through the fight. A man who at the cost of his own personal, fought for his people, nation and also played a motivating his people as well. A gem of person and leader who is no more.
I would rate the book 5/5
Some Inspiring Quotes from the book:
They say words have great power. These words convey a lot of things and have had a great impact on me. So I just thought of sharing these quotes as well.
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
“I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”
“Let your courage rise with danger.”
“It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, White and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.
When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”
Shantinagar a slum area between Mumbai city and suburb which place for all new aspirants and dreamers who came to the city. A place that open Heartedly welcomed the immigrants from all around the world. Laksmi and Shankar were an innocent couple who tried to make their ends meet lived in Shantinagar. They were parents of a young boy Rahul. Their world revolved around him and a sudden change in his behavior, moodiness and become a very quiet boy. He was taken to a doctor for consultation. But Rahul was denied treatment by his parent as they were influenced by people like Dinanath against it. He is a representative of a political party and for his selfish and greedy political aspiration used this innocent parent who had imense trust and faith in him to his benefit. He recommended to a saint who would help him recover and story so unfolded , one thing led to another effecting the life a small and complete family. The couple had to serve jail for no fault of thier’s affect Rahul life.
Ryan( who is none other than Rahul) was adopted by Indian parents in Japan. He is a graduate in Literature and in process of writing his first book. The main trait the I personally like about this character, he want to understand women. Why was wommen life deeply affected by people around them especially men. Why do they have to bow down before everyone and anawerable to so many of them. Whereas Men arent subjected to any this struggles in life. He was also a person who wqs curious to understand the inner meaning of life as well. An man with great intellectual trait and man who follows his heart and does what he is passionate about. In fact in Japan he first leant a amazing insight about life- Find out the place or point in the world which will sooth our heard and enjoy the the innocence that a person has within himself. Sonetime certain harsh experience and realities in life removes all our innocence in life.
It was in college where he found his best friend and futute love of his life Saki and they discussed every thing. WIth her inspiration and motivation he finished his first novel and she helped find his first publisher. When the deal was finalised sako, Ryan and few friends went on a trip to Assam and uttrakand to a trip. Sudden change in the events there, led to dead of everyone the trip except Saki and Ryan. But both were seperated after the incident, meanwhile the book became a sensation and worldwide bestseller. Thing brought Ryan back into limelight after three year. What happens in this mysterous three years is the story that ultimately leads to him getting back with his real parents Laksmi and Shankar and also with love of his life Saki.
Opinion and Rating
A beautiful and simple story which makes understand the neccessity of life.Usualy we tend to look at the small perspective of the world and miss the wider and larger perspective. Understanding of what life is and finding where inner happiness is matter the matter. Life is general are filled love, failure , trust, mistrust and arrongance selfish people and lot of other emotion which exibit and understanding the life of people around us also important. The author is right to mention that beauty, inteligence and power play a very important role. Right mixture of these three component can make our lives perfect
I would rate the 4/5
To buy the signed copy of the book,please is the link below:
John Michael Crichton was an American author, screenwriter, film director and producer best known for his work in the Science fiction, thriller, and medical fiction genres. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and over a dozen have been adapted into films
His literary works are usually within the action genre and heavily feature technology. His novels epitomize the techno-thriller genre of literature, often exploring technology and failures of human interaction with it, especially resulting in catastrophes with biotechnology. Many of his novels have medical or scientific underpinnings, reflecting his medical training and scientific background.
Michael Crichton has been in my “TO BE READ” books for a very long time and finally got hold of one his books. His books were recommended to when I asked for a suggestion for a thriller(One of my favorite genre). I started with the book “Disclosure” a book which deals with Thomas Sander who works for local based developing technological company digicom. The firm is in talks for a merger with another rival company an as a result changes in the restructuring within the firm. These lead to the appointment of Meredith Johnson as Vice President of the APS division which has shocked everyone in the firm. Everyone was expecting or looking forward to Sanders to take her position. Both of them were involved in a relationship 10 years back and she tries to resume by sexual advances towards in a meeting regarding products. This leads to a Sexual Harassment case which is files by Sander when Meredith puts him tight position of a job by filing an internal complaint against him. The evolution of the story post makes the book an amazing read
The theme of the novel is all about sexual harassment. But it definitely not generic one where the woman is harassed by men in power. But it a role reversal case where women in power have abused her position to her benefit and involved in sexual advance not with one but with many men who do not come forward to talk in general. It is typical when a man complains of Sexual harassment because of women to laugh and give a look into it and investigate. But in a vice versa situation, it gets all blown up and investigation happens and is resolved. I think this inequality and imbalance would be resolved one and only if there balance of both gender in top position. The solution is given by Sander’s attorney if and only if that proportion of both women and men given the authority of the power of balanced and in the ratio of 50:50, there will no question of mistreatment, inequality and misuse of power