Title: A Pack Of Lies
Author: Urmilla Deshpande
Publisher: Tranquebar Press (14 October 2009)
Paperback: 291 pages

Ginny slips through the cracks of her parents' divorce and grows up like a weed, undernourished in motherly love and over nourished in all the wrong ways, from sucking up attention wherever she can get it. Ginny is potent, addictive, and as delicious and nutritious as nicotine. Sometimes tragic and sometimes funny, but always sexy, Ginny falls in love as regularly as she smokes ganja, improvising her way through her times with honesty and compulsive joy, and very little morality of the conventional kind. This Pack of Lies is one woman's raw and ruthless look at her own unlikely life in Bombay in the '80s. She is, quite unintentionally, subtly disturbing in her look at divorce, incest, friendship, and sexuality. In ignoring the way things should be, she makes us question them. It is not Ginny who lies, but the world around her that refuses her candour, denies her truths, and turns away from her as the girl who cries wolf. Ginny is always uncompromising and brutally honest, at least with herself. In a life measured by touch and taste, there seems very little, after all, to lie about. This heartfelt novel feels uncomfortably like a memoir, but, as the title so forcefully declares, it's all a pack of lies, and must be accepted as such.

My Review
A Pack Of Lies by Urmilla Deshpande is an honest and raw take on female adolescence. The story explores the life of a teenage girl who decides to take matters into her hands when she discovers flawed relationships. Surviving the emotional roller coaster, the protagonist in the book, Virginia a.k.a Ginny, makes key decisions and experiences the consequences of her choices. 

Talking about my initial encounter with the book, the strangeness of the title drew my attention towards it. Nevertheless, there lies a diametrical difference between the title and the plot. The set of confrontations and truths of Ginny's life are believable and heartbreaking for the readers. However, it evidently represents the authenticity through which the author portrayed the flawed, imperfect and real relationships. 

I liked how the author put forward the sensitivities of the big bad world. From what I read, Ginny is constantly in a forlorn hope to seek validation, nurture and attention within the realms of both her family and friends, and in love too. For instance, her mother remained apathetic to the diverse challenges faced by her daughter. Likewise when exposed to diverse social situations, she encounters a shedload of dismaying interpersonal events that make her miserable at some points. 

The reader can sense the intrepid and candid writing style while author gives a rundown about the world of unapologetic confessions and realities of Ginny's life. I enjoyed this book in parts and not as a whole. I felt that the story evokes emotions in the first half but lacked promptness in the second half. 

Predominantly, the story provides an insight into the psyche of a growing teenage girl who explores her social environment. Moreover, how the dimensions of friendship, parenthood, childhood, family and companionship have tremendous impact on her well being. 

Rating : 3/5

Buy your copy: A Pack of Lies