This is Book Review of Jasmine Days by author Benyamin. This book is also
winner of JCB Prize of Literature 2018. Originally written and published in Malayalam it was later translated to English by Shahnaz Habib.
- Author: Benyamin
- Release: 1st June 2014
- Pages: 264
- Genre: Fiction
- Publisher: Juggernaut Books
- Language: English, translated from Malayalam
- Good Reads Rating: 3.95 / 5
Book Review of Jasmine Days
Set in an unnamed country in Middle East, Jasmine Days is story of Sameera Parvin who recently migrated from Pakistan to live with her father, aunts and uncles. This middle eastern country is ruled by a dictator. There is a lot of resentment against him among the common people. The family of Sameera and her father work in the Government of this dictator because of which, they are also seen as the enemies of the public.
The tensions in the country raises as the revolution starts to simmer to over throw the dictator, as a result religious conflicts break out. Sameera attempts to maintain some form of normality in her life as a radio jockey while struggling with conflicting point of views, thoughts and emotions. The book takes the reader on a journey of what common folks of a country go through when there is political instability and threat of war looming large. Once the reader gets invested with the characters, it is so heart wrenching to see how friends turn into enemies and winning war doesn’t always bring happiness and prosperity.
Further, Book Review of Jasmine Days is discussed in detail as follows:
Characters of Book Jasmine Days:
The central character of the story Jasmine Days is Sameera who works as a radio jockey. She is an independent young woman who questions and challenges the norms of the society. She is very introspective and brutally honest in her point of views. Although belonging to a conservative Muslim family, she finds her own identity and have courage to stand up for her decisions. The most striking thing about the character of Sameera is her ability to understand point of views of other people and sympathize with their concerns. The readers can experience the unbiased brutality of war through eyes of Sameera that changes lives of people forever.
Language of Book Jasmine Days:
Language and expression of the story is very descriptive and sophisticated. Author have used expressive language to convey the feelings of fear, anguish, pain and sadness in very tangible manner. Throughout the story, there is a very melancholy feeling to the language and it sets a perfect tone for the story.
Narration of Book Jasmine Days:
The story is narrated through the point of view of Sameera. She narrates her story to someone addressed as Javed. There is a single narrator of the story and the narration is done in form of stream of consciousness. Sameera expresses her emotions and thoughts in form of inner monologue.
Plot-line of Book Jasmine Days:
The plot of the story is based in a country which is going through civil war. The story is very unpredictable and unexpected. The fate of the characters is always in danger which keeps the reader on the edge. The story of the book Jasmine Days is very gripping and as a reader I was almost scared to read further, for it was painful and heart wrenching with every word. It has all the flavors of a true page turner.
Cover / Illustrations of Book Jasmine Days:
Cover of the book Jasmine Days is beautiful with an illustration of a woman wearing headphones. The colorful cover is in a beautiful contrast to the serious and melancholy story within the pages. However, I don’t understand any connection between the cover of the book and name ‘Jasmine Days’.
Final Thoughts on Jasmine Days by Benyamin
Jasmine days is a kind of book that leaves an impression on you for rest of your life. The story focuses on the country that is going to political instability and have war-like circumstances. While writing this book review, I realized that the main appeal of the story of Jasmine Days lies in the delicate description of how the behavior of people around us changes when put under challenging circumstances. The main feature of the story that attracted me was how the author have described the complex relationship that we have with right and wrong and it is a story that you will never forget.
I always have difficulty while penning down book review of the books that I really enjoy. These books seem to leave me speechless and at loss of words. It won’t be wrong to say that while writing book review of Jasmine Days, I had to struggle to make sense of words, particularly because I was so overwhelmed by the experience of reading it.
Jasmine Days is one of my favorite read of 2019 and I highly recommend this book to everyone.
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Blurb of Jasmine Days
Jasmine Days is WINNER of the JCB PRIZE FOR LITERATURE 2018
Sameera Parvin moves to an unnamed Middle Eastern city to live with her father and her relatives. She thrives in her job as a radio jockey and at home she is the darling of the family. But her happy world starts to fall apart when revolution blooms in the country. As the people’s agitation gathers strength, Sameera finds herself and her family embroiled in the politics of their adopted land. She is forced to choose between family and friends, loyalty and love, life and death.
Jasmine Days is the heart-rending story of a young woman in a city where the promise of revolution turns into destruction and division.