Book reviews

3’s a crowd by Vijay Nagaswami

Goodreads Summary: It is not only the aggrieved partner that needs to learn how to recover from the shock and pain caused by an adulterous spouse. The perpetrator is equally a victim of the affair. It is a myth that only men have affairs. Whom are the ones they’re having their affair with? Affairs are not the product of our times. Infidelity has informed our history, religious stories and culture since time immemorial. Modern technology and freer mingling of the sexes only slightly help. And sometimes that help backfires. As anyone whose ‘secret’ text messages on his cellphone have been discovered by a suspicious partner. Such surprises and insightful observations abound in yet another robust book by renowned relationships counsellor Vijay Nagaswami, in the third of Westland’s ‘New Indian Marriage’ series.

More than humour, more than his wit, Nagaswami’s greatest quality is his refusal to point out the villain in any piece. We are all flawed individuals, he reminds us yet again, and sometimes make foolish choices in the heat – or boredom – of the moment. But hope is at hand. We CAN regret, forgive and learn to love again. And, most importantly, cast away our guilt and our recriminations.

My views: Before I start to tell you about this book, I must warn you that I am not much of a self-help book reader and not really of one I have no use for, but when I saw this book was written by a psychiatrist who offers couple therapy, I said “Hmm, interesting. Wonder what it is about.” Even though I knew from the topic and the blurb what the book was about, what I was wondering was if it had anything to give in terms of self-help. I admit I laugh out loud at the idea of such books because doesn’t self-help mean you are going to help yourself, isn’t using books for it cheating? Anyway, that was my view when I started reading this book.

First off, I was impressed by all the clarifications that the author makes regarding the terms used in the book so as not to arouse any misunderstanding. Good move!

I was really glad that the book wasn’t like sitting in a lecture, it had excerpts from real-life situations to draw examples from for clarity and interest. Which, by the way, I really liked.

The chapters are extremely well organized starting with understanding the concept to understanding the viewpoints of the aggrieved (the one whose spouse engages in infidelity) and the transgressor (the one who engages in infidelity) and how to go about moving on from the act. I believe infidelity is not something you move on from easily, especially if you are the aggrieved and the book comes really handy in that aspect.

Also, this is not just a book for the aggrieved but also the transgressor as he/she is not see as the criminal but his viewpoint is also seen and the act of infidelity is not seen as immoral but as an act that happened. The book would help both of them to understand what happened and to move on with life.

Personally, the book was a good read for me because I saw and thought things that I hadn’t pondered on since now. I hadn’t known what it was like for the transgressor or how to enable couples to move on from ‘the act’. I think this made for a good textbook for me. LOL!

In all, recommended for all the aggrieved and transgressors, people who are interested in the concept of infidelity (and not the act, I hope). The book made me laugh in a few places. And though I do not agree with every single concept the book has to offer, I agree generally and am impressed with the depth of the author’s knowledge.

So, in a few words, read this one if you are interested, you won’t regret it.

4/5 stars – I really liked it (I am not giving it a 5 because how can I give a textbook a 5 stars?! LOL!)

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


4 thoughts on “3’s a crowd by Vijay Nagaswami”

  1. Who knew a text book could recieve such a high rating?!
    I’m actually really interested in this one, hopefully I can get my hands on it one day.

    P.s. How did the exam go?


    1. Yes, even I think 4 is the maximum I can give! LOL! 😀

      Hope you get to read it!

      P.S. The exam was a disaster and all my preparations went out the window since only 10% came from the portion I read, the other 90% had me stumped during the exam because it was like an Greek to me. I don’t whether to laugh or cry. The result comes out on Wednesday, I am hoping for a miracle to get me through.


  2. Well my inner psychologist is always interested in books like this but I hope I never have a need to self help myself on this topic. I thought it interesting that you found some laugh out loud parts. That alone intrigues me. Sigh, I need more hours in the day to read!


    1. I hope you never need to. Well, I remember laughing precisely twice during the reading. I found one for you –

      “I’m not saying you shouldn’t stand below your partner’s apartment and gaze up at it wistfully. By all means, do so if you want. But is melodrama is what you’re shooting for, you might, at best, end up with a cervical spondylosis from too much window-gazing. At worst, your spouse could throw something at you.”

      I don’t know about you, but I found this hilarious, especially since I keep visualizing what I read.

      Sigh, you will get much more hours to read when the kids go to school. But if only, you can find time among the textbooks you will be reading then. 😦


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