Book Review: ‘The Inheritors’ by Nadeem Zaman

A journey into memory lane!

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Book Title: The Inheritors
Author: Nadeem Zaman
Publisher: Hachette India
Number of Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-9393701336
Date Published: Feb. 20. 2023
Price: INR 267

The Inheritors by Nadeem Zaman Book Cover

Book Review

Nadeem Zaman’s novel “The Inheritors” skilfully navigates a gripping tale delving into the complexity of relationships buried in half-truths inside a world driven by power and privilege. Zaman presents a vivid and engaging portrayal of a city and its citizens coping with significant upheavals and perplexing issues with deft writing.

After nearly three decades abroad, Nisar Chowdhury returns to Bangladesh, his boyhood home, to sell his father’s ancestral land. Despite his distancing from nostalgia and his family’s history, Nisar’s visit to Dhaka is greeted warmly by his cousin Disha but lukewarmly by his father’s lawyer, Mr Ehsan.

Meanwhile, his wealthy neighbour, Gazi, is interested in purchasing the entire estate, prompting Nisar to investigate a complicated past between Gazi and his cousin. Nisar becomes involved in a web of intrigue as he immerses himself in the lives of Dhaka’s wealthy elite, questioning his cousin’s participation in Gazi’s intentions for the land.

Nisar is greeted warmly upon his arrival in Dhaka by his elder cousin, Disha, with whom he had a boyhood infatuation. The faithful family retainers and other friends also show their hospitality, but Nisar notes his father’s longtime lawyer, Mr Ehsan, gives a cold greeting. Furthermore, Gazi, Nisar’s wealthy and kind neighbour who had earlier acquired a section of the land, has expressed interest in purchasing the entire estate.

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Nisar is intrigued by the issue and discovers a tangled past between Gazi and his cousin, where truth is brutal amidst Dhaka’s abundance of rumour. As Nisar investigates more into the city’s affluent and influential’s secrets and affiliations, he finds himself trapped in a web of uncertainty and intrigue, doubting his cousin’s role in Gazi’s desire to purchase the property.

The Inheritors” is a delightful book that covers a wide range of themes in a short amount of time. It deftly juxtaposes the past and present, diving into complicated connections while portraying a realistic image of life in Bangladesh, which, despite substantial differences in in-laws and the portrayal of journalists as just conduits for those in power, has an uncanny resemblance to its Indian counterpart. The people in the plot are beautifully developed, and the pacing is masterfully accomplished, ensuring there is never a dull or sluggish time.

The book review was first published in Storizen Magazine May 2023 issue.