Short takes

Jasmine D'Costa

I have finished reading Mayank Bhatt's new book, "Belief." The author brings to life and personalises the oft-heard news of young men being lured to take to violence on the perceived and sometimes real persecution of communities of faith.

We follow Rafiq and his family in the trauma and the final promise of redemption from an altered belief. Sometimes related (remembering the author used to be a journalist) and sometimes playing out their lives, I must congratulate him for keeping me on till the end.

It is not just a book for one community to read but for all. Rafiq's father blames Canada for how his son was fashioned and that in itself must interest most Canadians to get into their heads and understand how our most careless and minor actions go a long way in the lives of new immigrants (and not so new).

Mawenzi House has done a great job in publishing and promoting Mayank who has just joined the band of Canadian authors. 

Lisa de Nikolits

A sensitive, eloquent and timely novel. Beautifully written, Belief brings moving insights not only into the lonely immigrant experience, but, in particular, examines in detail the religious and racial tensions that Muslims suffer today The book also explores familial relationships that carry the unwieldy weight of traditions and legacies from former homelands, as well as the scars from battles, fought there. Marriage, ageing, love, complicated sibling tangles - all these are magnified and brought into focus under the microscope of Mayank Bhatt's thoughtful observations. 

Jaclyn Qua-Hiansen (Literary Treats)

Belief is a slim volume, but a dense story, and one not often told in CanLit. The ending doesn’t provide quite as much closure as I would have liked, but I do like that it takes a realistic view of the situation Rafiq’s in. It’s not an easy read, but it’s a thoughtful one, and a welcome addition to Mississauga Can Lit.

Hema Rajsekhar

I just finished reading 'Belief'. What I liked most about the book is that it is completely engaging and makes the reader want to know what's going to happen to Rafiq.

The story is credible and one can empathise with the events that happen. I think this is primarily because of the way you have worked to create the characters in the book. Rafiq, Rukhsana, the father, the sister, even the son-in-law - you have done a great job of building these characters.

What happened to Rafiq could have happened to any youngster. Good descriptions, great story-telling.

I have only one crib. I would have liked the story to be a bit more dramatic and I would have liked some more insight into the complexity of human thought and behaviour.

Howard Simmons

The impetus  of the story is a young man’s  involvement in  a terrorist  plot. However, the story is much more. How does a close knit immigrant  family cope when the son is arrested is a large part of the story. A  great and informative  read.