“Letters from an Indian Summer” by debutant novelist Siddharth Dasgupta is the love story of two nomadic beings – Arjun Bedi, a photographer of Indian origin and Genevieve Casta, an artist of French origin.
Arjun and Genevieve are nomads at heart and refuse to be tied down, travelling on a whim to the place that their work takes them. During such a journey, in a chance encounter, they meet at Kathmandu and get drawn to each other. As is their wont, they will not let their attraction for each other give way to any meaningful relationship of permanence; but they continue to communicate through letters for a good year after their meeting till time wanes it down.
One more surprise meeting at a restaurant in Poona, which happens to be Arjun’s home town, and the relationship between the two resumes. But there are secrets in their past that they need to deal with before they can commit.
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- The first thing that struck me and might strike any reader is the richness of language and the command the author has over literary prose. Word after word, line after line, Siddharth Dasgupta keeps us mesmerised with his descriptions that are vivid. Something as simple as a crowded marketplace of Delhi or a dirty lane of Benares can appear so beautiful in the mind’s eye owing to the skilful way in which Dasgupta weaves his words. Big applause for this skill of his.
- If one can see this book as a love story between two souls, from another point of view, it is a travelogue. The characters are constantly traveling from Poona, to Benares to Delhi to Istanbul to Dubai to… The combination of excellent descriptive writing and the places makes it a delight for those bitten by the wanderbug.
- There is a third love story that can be read between the lines. The author is in love with food. The number of cafés and restaurants that figure in this book and the dishes and drinks that are constantly devoured by the characters had me drooling through the book.
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- The excess of lyrical descriptions are at times cloying, to say the least. It is tough to read page after page of 300 pages of rich descriptions. The author could have mellowed down a bit and kept these limited.
- Slightly slow-paced for the average reader. It might suit the romantic or the poetic at heart.
For the poetic!
A copy of this book was given me by Fingerprint! publishing in return for an honest review. Thanks Fingerprint! publishing!