Aneesha Myles review on The Oath


A Pleasant Surprise in a Small Package

An avid reader, I categorize Indian writing in English in two categories – those by literary writers, who flourish their pen with élan and churn out a great linguistic experience; and those by non-literary writers, who may not use flowery language but have an exciting tale to tell. The Oath by Dr Kalyan C Kankanala is a fascinating book in the second category.

A medico-legal thriller this book attracted me because I love medical stories and am inclined towards legal drama in both books and movies. When you have politics, medicine, and the law thrown in, the book was bound to attract my attention.

A pleasant read in a little over 180 pages this book is written in plain English, easy-to-read, gripping, with a fantastic story. It narrates incidents in the life of an Indian doctor in the Naxalite-affected region of Zala in India. It’s the story of conflict – should a doctor treat rebels or not. The narration follows a back-forth trajectory, switching from flashbacks to the present (a trend which I am seeing in many books I have read lately).

While the present storyline comprising of the medico-legal angle is the core of the novel and quite interesting, I found the narration of the past to be lyrical and engaging. Dr Kankala beautifully weaves the story of poor farmers and the countryside into his narrative. With elements of love, pathos, trials and tribulations the book has a rhythmic flow. It fluidly explores parent-child, sibling, lover, spouse, friends and co-worker relationships.

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Dr. Kalyan’s The Oath available on Amazon –



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