Books · Reviews

From Yesterday by Anupam Dasgupta // Easy to read and very entertaining

2.5 stars  

34595753Anita, a make-up artist blessed with name, fame and fortune, yet cursed with a lonely and loveless existence. Adi, a young, ambitious and jet setting management professional, yet nursing a broken heart. Christina a bright, young and independent individual, brimming with optimism. Adi and Anita meet in Chennai and instantly fall for each other. However Anita’s checkered past comes back to haunt her. The sequence of events that follow, leave Adi heart-broken. Adi moves to Chicago for work and happens to meet Christina. Christina is instinctively attracted to Adi. On the other hand, Adi distinctly senses the presence of Anita around him. ‘From Yesterday’ takes us into the world of love as Adi, Anita and Christina brush each other’s lives in the beautiful city of Chicago. Does Adi find his true love? Does he find Anita in Chicago? Does Christina lose in love? Adi unravels the answers to all these questions, as he gazes at the Bean, on a cold evening in the Windy city.

Thank you to the author for sending me an eBook version of this book. All opinions are my own.

I was initially drawn towards this book because it’s by an Indian author and it’s been a while since I’ve read anything set in India. From the summary, I could tell that this was a contemporary novel so I was sure I would just fly through it.

The story starts off with our main character Adi going to a salsa class where he dances with a tarot card reader who reads his cards as a means of thanking him. He then narrates the story of his love life to her, and simultaneously to the reader. The book continues the story of his life and shows how everything in his cards was coming true.

The night of the tarot reading is what essentially ties the story together and was a kind of divider between Adi’s past and Adi’s future. I thought one of the main reasons to mention that night was to hear the story of Adi’s life from his point of view. However, the reader is told about everything that happened in the past from both Anita and Adi’s point of view. Since the story is told in third person, shifting points of view is useful but I was quite surprised to get both sides of the story since it was just Adi narrating it to the tarot card reader.

This book, like many other contemporary books, is extremely character driven as there is no real plot. The two main characters are Adi and Anita. (The summary also mentions a Christina but she turned out to be a very minor character.) I really liked Adi. I thought he was kind, thoughtful and very sweet. He was always very understanding. Anita, on the other hand, I had problems with. She was quite frustrating to read because she was so insecure about her relationship with Adi, despite his constant reassuring. She has a dark past which is very sad, but her insecurities didn’t stem from her past. She also starts having hallucinations, which is later diagnosed, but it’s never discussed or resolved later in the story.

Another big problem I had with this book was the insta-love. And this book has it not once, but twice! With both Anita and Christina. Anita and Adi talk online for maybe 5 minutes before they decide to meet and go on dates. And Christina and Adi started dating without even having any proper conversations. Anita and Adi’s ‘flirtatious’ messages were so awkward and I was cringing so much while reading them. Christina and Adi still had a few great conversations later in the book.

Something weird that I noticed were that the chapter titles were really silly and quite random. There was literally a chapter called ‘Tring Tring’ because there was an important phone call in that chapter. Obviously, this is just something that bothered me and will probably go unnoticed by most readers but it really irked me for some reason so I thought to mention it here.

Other than Anita’s character and the insta-love, this is quite a fun book. There’s a great depiction of a relationship where the girl is significantly older and how society reacts to it. Chennai and Chicago are described very elaborately so it’s obvious that a lot of research had been done into the places. The writing is easy to read and I just flew through it. Barring a few of the awkward IMs, the dialogue is really fun.

The story, despite its few flaws, is a quick, easy and entertaining read. I would highly recommend if you’re in a reading slump!


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