Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Book Review: Summer Holidays by Koral Dasgupta

 Name of the book
 Summer Holidays
 Name of the author
 Family Drama
 No. of Pages
 Rupa Publications

'People misbehave with their loved ones, they take them for granted because they believe in a tomorrow when things will get sorted. But what if there was no tomorrow?'

---Koral Dasgupta, Summer Holidays

This quote is actually the gist of the story. 

The female and male protagonists {Mira and Rishi} of this story are siblings who haven't met in a long time {16 years} because of an ugly fight between their parents {Also siblings}. One fine day, they connect on Facebook and got in touch. They practically share a flat while studying in the same city {without telling their parents, of course}.

While Rishi and Mira bond really well, their parents' estrangement bothers them terribly. So, they make a quirky plan!

What's the plan? Would it work? You will have to read the book to know the answer. 

Family drama. Sibling love and bonding. With a hint of romance. Well, romance is always welcome but family drama/sibling love is not really my favourite genre when it comes to novels. 

To be very honest, the first impression was not very good because of the very same reason. Also, the book cover seemed a little dull. I thought this story deserved more vibrant cover. Still, I enjoyed reading this book! I'll tell you why.

The first thing I noticed {after the cover} and liked about this book was Rishi! He is so mature and witty! His dialogues are so thoughtful and interesting. 

'Spend it {time} to buy fun but never give away to the undeserved.'

Characterization is good, actually. Most of the characters seem relatable. Except Shiraz. Now, I don't feel good saying this because Shiraz is an important character even though he is practically not there. 

'Shiraz was your hero,' Mira says to Rishi but frankly I didn't find anything heroic about Shiraz. I felt this character needed more space. I was looking for something substantial that confirms Rishi's deep bonding with Shiraz {that he remembers him fondly even after 16 long years}.

There's another problem ---Rishi remembers too much. And so vividly. Rishi was just five when the fight happened so it bothered me that a boy remembers so much that he experienced at the age of five {and when he was even younger}.

Bonding between Rishi and Mira is endearing and very well expressed. There's a little bit of romance {in both Rishi and Mira's personal life} that's really entertaining. It acts like a refreshing change in the story. The author has created space for romance very nicely.

The author earns brownie points for writing this book from multiple points of view that switch frequently. This has been done so skillfully that it doesn't disturb or confuse you.

I liked the quotes ---

'There was no bigger solace than drowning in work when tense or sad. Perhaps the sense of helplessness inspired an energy that brought out the best in you.'

Overall, it was a sweet and entertaining read. If you are looking for an interesting, light and thoughtful read, Go for it.

I received this book from the publisher for an unbiased review.

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