YOU BEGIN WHERE I END: BOOK REVIEW

  1. Author: Sarang Jairaj
  2. Release: December 14th 2018
  3. Pages: 144
  4. Genre: Fiction, Romance
  5. Publisher: Srishti Publishers
  6. Language: English
  7. Audience: English
  8. Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43207920-you-begin-where-i-end
  9. Buy Here:  https://amzn.to/2SbiAs1

Blurb

Is it possible to love two people at the same time?

Nafisa is dealing with beers, periods, heartbreak, and dating apps, when she meets her new uniquely average boyfriend. But is he the love of her life? Before Nafisa can figure that out, her life is turned upside down. Her mother Tamanna dies in an accident. In trying to come to terms with her loss, she finds solace in the company of a charming painter. Her life takes a retro turn, with diaries, handwritten letters, and music trying to heal her.

Tamanna is busy simply existing and complaining, when a gorgeous poet takes her on a whirlwind philosophical journey, teaching her to appreciate art, nature, human existence, and love. But is he the love of her life? Before Tamanna can figure that out, her marriage is arranged with an extraordinarily ordinary guy. Amidst arranged marriages, honour killings, letters of blood, and melting ice-golas, Tamanna shall discover her brand of love.

You Begin Where I End spins two unconventional love stories, set two decades apart – 1991 and 2015 – trying to find an answer to the eternal dilemma of darlings – What is love?

Review

This is story of young Nafisa who is studying in a relatively small college of Pune and living in the hostel. She is not relatively slim pretty girl like her roommates and doesn’t get along with them. She loves her own company and could be found most of the time on the terrace gazing at the stars, listening to her favourite artists and dreaming away. She had a bad breakup and started dating another guy called Amar who she met on Tinder. They hit off pretty well and Amar seems to be a nice and caring guy. After spending a few weekends frolicking around with Amar, Nafisa decided to visit her parents for a weekend.

Unfortunately Nafisa loses her mother to an accident that same weekend and her life is forever changed. She experiences loss and grief like she had never experienced before and felt herself plummeting into the deep abyss of darkness. To her rescue comes a diary written by her mother when she was in college. This was the side of her mother that Nafisa never knew existed. Her mother was carefree, happy and had a great friend who would question the norms of the society and take a stand against them. Nafisa got to know that her mother was struggling with a lot of issues as a young adult which were not very far off from her own experiences. This way, she forged a bond with her mother that is endearing and bittersweet.

She found a common thread of love, loss and life altering decisions that binds mother and daughter closer then before.

Characters: 

The main characters of the story is Nafisa. She is a typical young adult who is experiencing the dilemmas of a hostel life, breakups, raging hormones, feelings of confusion, infatuation, regrets and loss. Her character is not complex but is written in a way to be relatable to a college going youngster. She is experimental in nature and loves to explore new experiences. She is a fan of poetry and verses and loves to gaze at the stars and dream. She forms an instant connection with her mother when reading her diary and realizes how truly similar they both are. She loves the fact that her mother was someone who would challenge the norms of the society and make her voice heard. This brings Nafisa closer to her mother and also her father.

Language: 

The language of the book is easy and beginner friendly. There are no complicated words or phrases, due to which a beginner will find it easy to read and consume. It is not overly descriptive although there is some detailed discussion on the topic of love and meaning of life. A seasoned reader might find it bland due to lack of linguistic stimulus.

Narration:  

Nafisa is the primary narrator of the story with the parts of the diary narrated by her mother. The narration is in the form of inner monologue expressed as a stream of consciousness by the narrator. Second half of the book mostly consists of diary entries of Tammana and some letters.

Plot-line:

The plot line of the story is not unique and very predictable. There were many topics that were picked up by the author but he left them in the middle of the story. Even when the character is struggling with some insecurity, the author describes it in one or two instance and never bring them up again. A deep discussion on such topics and coming to terms with it with intervention was somehow lacking. To put it in simple words, the charm of the story is in relatablity and not the plot line.

Final Thoughts

High on beginner friendly and relatability levels, the book attempts to give a glimpse of the lifestyle of the youngsters these days. The doubts, insecurities and peer pressure that a young adult feels while they attempt to find true love have new experiences and find a future for themselves are described. I personally felt that a few issues were picked up and dropped randomly and I wish author would have tied those story lines properly to give a cohesive end. The relation between mother and daughter is endearing. The loss and despair that protagonist felt after losing her mother is heart wrenching. How she heals from this loss and ends up knowing her parents better then ever before is beautiful. Recommended to beginner readers.

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