"What belongs to you" by Garth Greenwell

The book tells the story of an unnamed American teacher in Russia , seeking pleasure and love from a guy Mitiko , though there are few others too. This is a story of what made Mitiko use his body to earn and survive , giving a brief glimpse into the economy and society of the country this book is based in. The story spans a number of years starting from the meeting of these two and supposedly final goodbye by the American guy when he realizes and accepts the lies and deceit that Mitiko lives by. Within this framework , the author traces the American's relation with his family , the history , the broken bonds and the forgiveness that he never spares for his father. The scene where his dad suspects about his sexual preference is both so sad and insightful for their relationship. It turns the things towards the death of it.

But what keeps you engaged in the book and much later is how you relate to the desires, the decisions we willingly make to fulfill our lust and even when others show us a way out , we know we are trapped beyond understanding in the lame pursuit. We do not own the objects of desire most times and yet we never stop to try doing that. Hugs , cuddles , kisses or sex - it all is a means sometimes to be one step closer to have the pleasure of company we seek. And how it breaks the heart again and again.

The author also writes beautifully of the fears , the guilt and the unrequited love that is between friends who one day go away forever , driven apart by their choices and how they deal with it. The teenage understanding of gay love and the disgust for the same is captured in the guy's relation with his friend K.

This short ( less than 200 pages ) book packs tales and emotions more than it appears as you begin reading. Wether you finish it slow or in one or two sittings , the book will make one recall some of our own stories and some how it is an answer to those stories left incomplete.

My rating : 4/5

I recieved this book for review from the Flipkart blogging Program

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