Valli and Ramesh live under a cloud of fear because of their father, who has a frightening temper. Will things ever change for them? A story about domestic violence, grit and hope.
Illustrator: Aindri Chakroborty
Published by Storyweaver (Pratham Books)
For children 8+ years
“Behind The Lie begins in the middle of a scene, as a young boy sweeps up broken glass, his little sister makes tea for their mother, who holds the cup of hot tea to her swollen cheek. It’s a stark portrait of everyday violence in a book that is almost entirely about its victims. The abusive father is not seen except as a shadowy figure in the narrative and in Aindri Chakraborty’s sensitive drawings: a belt lying on a sofa, an ankle disappearing through the doorway as the children high-five each other in relief at his departure, a cut on the boy’s forehead.
Yet, this is a hopeful story, as Ramesh and Valli seek and get help, and are finally seen being children: singing and saving money to buy chocolates.
There is no easy resolution, except a gentle nudge for communities to stop ignoring and normalizing domestic violence.” Read more…
– LiveMint (Reviewed by Shrabonti Bagchi)
“Behind the Lie cleverly tackles a difficult subject like violence within the home and the tendency to hush it up. This book should be used to initiate conversations among children and empower them to confront such situations with fortitude.” Read more…
– Review by Goodbooks
“Behind the Lie finds a mention in a list of ‘100 Diverse Books to Make a Collection’. The list is curated by Bookworm Goa, who are known for their stellar work in the Library movement.
“Behind the Lie for us is a treasure. It seeks to show us how children as young as 8 can, and must, confront home truths from social realities.
Not all families are characterised by only happiness. Some are marked by abuse and distress. This book illuminates this dark secret of family life in a respectful and tender way. We look for stories that disrupt mainstream narratives, and so, Behind the Lie for us is a treasure. It seeks to show us how children as young as 8 can, and must, confront home truths from social realities. It places trust in the community and social connections that characterise Indian society, but in a positive way, leaving the reader with a sense of hope and positivity.” See the entire list: ‘100 Diverse Books to Make a Collection’
– Review by Bookworm
Asha Speaks: “My book, Behind the Lie, is now up on Pratham Books’ digital platform StoryWeaver and in print.
This story on the complex issue of Domestic Violence is for child readers. It’s also ideal for use in schools to start conversations in the classroom on this problem and has been powerfully and sensitively illustrated. Read my blog on Writing a Story on Domestic Violence here.