Tiny Beautiful Things

Tiny Beautiful Things is a print publication of an advice column published online under the title ‘Dear Sugar’, anonymously written then by the author under the same pen-name.

The tagline of the book says ‘Let yourself be gutted. Let it open you. Start here’. The book has something for everyone, in the form of questions asked by almost everyone. It is questions by men, women, transgenders, bisexuals, children, the unemployed, aspiring artists, people who have faced the death of a loved one, destruction and calamity, people who are simply overwhelmed by playing this game called life.

There are many advice columns around the world in the form of online portals, traditional print media, radio and television shows. Two factors differentiate ‘Dear Sugar’ from other advice columns – honesty in response and heart wrenching empathy.

The author bares-all about her life in a very matter of fact approach. This gives the reader an insight that there is a genuine attempt by the author to find solutions to the most baffling complexities of life. It also generates a certain amount of trust. This only comes when someone divulges their secrets first. It is also heartening to see how the anonymous readers trust ‘Dear Sugar’. She does have an answer to questions about everything.

Reading the book makes it appear true.

Reading Tiny Beautiful Things is a journey, you become that little girl whose parents have separated and doesn’t know how to be with them anymore. You empathise with that young man who has failed at love so many times that he is now fearful of it. The life of that corporate stooge who wants to break free and become an artist resonates with yours. You feel the pain of that father who has lost his only child and doesn’t have the will to live anymore. You read the agony of that victim of sexual assault. You become that middle-aged woman who doesn’t know why she wants to abandon everything but thinks about it day and night. You understand that jealous friend whose best friend is going to get married.
A must-read for anyone who wants an insight into life and the human psyche.

[This book review was first published in The Times of India]

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