FROM ASHES TO DREAMS: BOOK REVIEW

  1. Author: Rashmi Trivedi
  2. Release: 17th September 2018
  3. Pages: 300
  4. Genre: Romance, Fiction
  5. Publisher: Blue Rose Publishers
  6. Language: English
  7. Audience:  Beginner Reader
  8. Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42358693-from-ashes-to-dreams
  9. Buy Here:  https://amzn.to/2CRftNV

Blurb

Sometimes life brings you at a crossroad, where you have no choice but to live every day as if it was your last one. Naina was at such a crossroad! An orphan, she did not have much to look forward to in life, until she fell in love. Love gave her wings and she started to fly, only to come crashing down as the wind beneath her wings turned into a storm. She tries putting an end to her now wretched existence, but fate has some other plans for her. She comes to know that she has limited time to live and decides to start living everyday instead of merely surviving. She lives every moment without worrying about the future she does not have or the past that could not be undone. She falls in love once again, this time with life! Will fate respect her fortitude?

Review

From Ashes to Dreams is a story of Naina, who grew up in an orphanage and was abandoned by her parents when she was just a baby. She grew up in the orphanage and was adored by Shanti Amma along with her best friends Kusum and Raghav. Being very innocent and kind hearted, Naina was loved by everyone and Kusum being competitive in nature was jealous. After coming of age, all three friends moved out of the orphanage into a flat that they shared.

Naina meets Siddharth and she feels an instant connection. She feels the love so pure and true that she couldn’t help but fall head over heels for this man. Her happiness had no bounds when he reciprocates her love and showered her with affection. But her joy is short lived and she was left alone and miserable as a result of a toxic relationship. She couldn’t imagine living another day without him and decided to end her life. What follows is a second chance that life offers her to appreciate the beautiful gift that life is before threatening once again , to take it all away, this time for good.

Characters: 

Protogonist of the story is Rashmi who is portrayed as a sweet and innocent person who’s beauty never fails to captivate everyone she meets. She is adored by everyone and is somehow given a preference over everyone. She never believed that people can have malicious intentions. Kusum is shown a very passionate and driven character. But she was very jealous of Naina and she tries to manipulate her and those around her in order to get what she wants. There are several other characters who play a role in Naina’s life. The character development is weak and there are no major subplots. The characters are shown somewhat stereotypical but with redeeming qualities. There are not very complex characters and their behavior is somewhat predictable. There is a heavy influence of Bollywood on stereotypical behavior and story line.

Language: 

Language is fairly easy for a beginner and descriptive. A seasoned reader might find it monotonous due to simple language. The story is a little dramatized at few places. There are good quotations and phrases as well but personally I felt the language could have been a little sophisticated.

Narration:  

There are multiple narrators of the story including Naina, Kusum, Raghav, Shanti Amma and Siddharth. Having multiple narrators helped to capture my interest since I feel narration only from Naina’s point of view would have been monotonous. The narrators express their thoughts and expressions in the form of inner monologue and stream of consciousness.

Plot-line:

The Plot line was eerily similar to ‘Veronika Decides to Die’ by Paulo Coelho. I read that book very long ago so I could be wrong but reading ‘From Ashes to Dreams’ reminded me strongly of ‘Veronika Decides to Die’. The story is very similar where the protagonist doesn’t value their life and attempts to commit suicide. They are saved but develop a chronic health condition which leaves them with just a few months to live. In this time, they discover the other side of life and they fall in love with the amazing gift of God called life. The story I would say is not unique but definitely engaging.

Cover/Illustrations:

The cover and illustration of the book is absolutely breathtaking. I love books with black covers and this one is one of the prettiest book I own. The illustration on the front cover is of a woman who appears to be raising out of the ashes towards the dreams. The title of the book is also very appropriate to the story and reflects the essence of the book.

Final Thoughts

When I started reading this book, I had very high expectations but initially I found it full of stereotypes and cliches. A predictable story line and unrealistic love at first sight was even more off putting. But once I was about 90 pages in, the story got better. The characters became much more sensible and story line captured my interest.

The book finished at a very positive note which I didn’t expect and enjoyed the book more then I expected. The suitable reader would be a beginner reader who can over look over dramatization and enjoy a good story with positive and uplifting message.

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