This book reminded me of Victorian writing

Rohan Dahiya’s The Bitter Pill Social Club, paged 314, published by Bloomsbury is a bitter pill about the high society lifestyle.

We have seen it so many times how the Page 3 lifestyle is. We may have been bullied by those nose-in-the-air high society snobs in our school or college. Well, this book gives you exactly those vibes. Actually, there are multiple vibes that I got while reading this book. It was amazing because the writing was really good.

The novel follows the life of dysfunctional family of Kochhars. It begins introducing characters of Kochhars family – Sunaina, Hassan, Tina, Surya, Geetu, Gayatri, Vir, Asim, Dev, Kama, Ria. The author takes us through the life and mindset of each of these characters. If I have to tell you in brief the plotline of the book then I would only say that it tells you, and sincerely so, the story of farcical life of a high society fam.

Every character has a story to tell and strikes a chord. At some point if you feel the sympathy for Kama, you feel sorry for Asim and you hate Ria for what she does to her mother. Then there are multiple other characters that come and go like Lakshman, Daksh, Faisal, Leela, Sohrab, Neil to name a few. These characters play a role to take the story forward. Talking about the characters, there are characters like Faisal or Leela that disappear without giving a satisfying reason. And then there’s character of Sohrab who jumps in the scene and becomes Sunaina’s lover boy. If I have to “ship it or rip it” Sunaina’s love life than I would ship Lakshman and Sunaina and rip Sunaina and Faisal, and Sunaina and Sohrab. Those love angles didn’t go down well with me. I haven’t a clue why. 😂

Coming to the language of this book, well like I said earlier, it was really good. The writing is brutally honest and the neutral tone that is used, adds an edge to the narrative. Leitmotif is used in language for an effect and that doesn’t go unseen. The novel is peppered with unique phrases and high society lingo – obvio, clubbing shubbing, gorg, amiright, perf, etc. However, at some points the transition in the scenes tends to be knee jerk. All the chapters are given a specific title to stress on the significance of the event to follow. I loved how beautifully some of the sentences were carved

The boy reached for her glass and she let him sip from it as though he were a lost traveller and she a water nymph.


The sun was high but the wind still had the bite of a lasting winter.


His lips injected sunshine through her bones.

Well, there’s a whole lot more what I feel about the quotes in this book and one can read my favourite quotes here:

The theme of the book was so Virginia Woolf and Oscar Wilde-esque.

The spats in the family that turn into fights were humourous and at one point I could hear my mind saying, “Such a mad, mad, mad family!” Like a character in the book calls, it is a “garbage people family,” it literally felt so. And when I came across these scenes another thing that flashed was how very Dil Dhadakne Do- esque it feels. Yes, these are precisely the feels I was talking about.

Overall, it was a good read.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐. 5
Publisher: Bloomsbury India
Available on: Amazon, In-store

Have you read this book? Do let me know in the comments.