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`Half Life` not so fulfilling

London: ‘Half Life’ by Roopa Farooki starts out strong, then falls flat.

A woman named Aruna is leaving her husband. She makes the impulsive decision over breakfast. She leaves their house in London with only her purse and heads to the airport to return to Singapore, and her former life.

Aruna believes she married her husband in haste and under false pretenses. She liked the way he saw her because it was better than how she viewed herself.

She`s also troubled and running from a past she cannot forget. Aruna hopes to make peace with the reason that ultimately kept her and former boyfriend Jazz from building a life together.

The story then cuts back and forth among Aruna, Jazz and his father, Hassan, who is dying in a hospital in Malaysia. It also jumps from present day to the past to explain how their lives intertwine.

What divides Aruna and Jazz isn`t much of a shock. Hints are dropped early in the book, and the two characters talk about it throughout the story. "Half Life" would be a better novel if this had been kept a secret until the end of the book.

Another problem is that the more readers learn about Aruna, the more unlikable she becomes. She has been diagnosed as bipolar and has an addictive personality. She`s addicted to drugs, alcohol and sex, and she`s also extremely selfish and bland.

While the premise is a good one, ‘Half Life’ unravels and ends up not being so fulfilling.

Bureau Report

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