Review on ‘Batavia 1936’: It isn’t all about the ending

I am quite sad knowing Kirani doesn’t end up marrying Hans. I wish they tie the knot, especially as the story draws its finale, both Kirani’s father and Hans’ know Hans actually wants to propose Kirani, not Kirana.

You know, why can’t that happen? I mean if they both follow their hearts, they can do just that. But I know, the writer wouldn’t do that. Because that would be a kind of taking an advantage from someone’s suffering. Precisely, being happy despite Kirana’s dying days.

That don’t really matter much for me anyway. What makes the novel a bit out of sense is the way how the finale unfolds. That Hans suddenly wants to marry Kirana, which is basically out of pity and how Kirani realizes she is more in love with Syam while most of the pages highlight her feeling to Hans.

I am sorry for the author’s immediate ending which for me seems forceful. Not smooth. May be when Hans is in Surabaya, the writer can focus on his changed feeling for Kirana, no longer to Kirani. While he has his heart changed, the writer can also bend Kirani’s affection to Syam who is her best friend.

Suppose the feeling transition runs smoothly I can totally understand why Hans ends up with Kirana and Kirani is more at her best with Syam. But the author doesn’t do her job right for this very essential part, which for me spoils the overall work. I applaud her attempt to craft the fiction, adding historical and cultural contexes here and there. Too bad the author doesn’t put good transition as the story moves to the end, the part that is mostly waited for all readers who have set aside much time reading for it.


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