Title : The Hope Factory
Author : Lavanya Sankaran
Publisher : Hachette
ISBN : 9780755327874
The Hope Factory is a Bangalore based story with Anand Murthy as the main protagonist. He runs a small-scale auto components manufacturing factory and is at the verge of expanding his business by signing a deal with Japanese clients. He needs more land to set up a new factory and confronts many roadblocks on the path to acquire it. Having a dominant father-in-law who wants to impose his way on his daughter's life and family, makes matters more complicated for Anand. Vidya, Anand's wife is a typical society woman who wants to move in higher echelons flashing her designer clothes, throws lavish parties for friends to make an impression and talks about charity and fund-raising to sound like a concerned citizen. Though they both fell for each other during their college days which led to their nuptial but they clearly have different approach towards how they want to conduct their lives.
Another story which moves in parallel with Anand's story is that of Kamala and her son Narayan. Kamala is a house maid in Anand's home and all her efforts are geared towards providing good education to her son Narayan besides struggling to make both ends meet for both of them. She is a sincere and honest worker but still becomes the subject of Vidya-maa's fury many times.
The high point of the book is narration of situations and incidents from two very diverse perspectives with respect to two stories that are beautifully interwoven as one. Misery and anguish of Kamala, her resolve and determination, Anand's dedication towards his work, his interactions with his children, his father-in-law's eagerness in taking charge of things, and much more - though sound very simple yet are handled expertly bringing the characters to life.
Through 'Hope Factory' the author has addressed current state of affairs in real estate, corruption and bribery, involvement of goons and politicians in high-order deals and feasible options available to people who want to carry on with their business honestly and sincerely. The characters are etched brilliantly and the narration flows smoothly. It is a little slow in the first half but gains momentum after that when more action is happening. Language is good, easy to understand and error-free and it deserves a special compliment because many new Indian authors falter on that account. Overall a simple story told simply which makes for a decent one time read.