If you are looking for something short to fit into a busy schedule, I have something today that might tickle your fancy.
The Dream That Held Us by Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang
October 1985, Ash Misra leaves a blood-stained Delhi for Oxford University. Haunted by a terrible secret, he just wants to forget. Music and fresh violence bring him to fellow student and amateur violinist, Isabella Angus, but duty and the burden of history keep them apart. A quarter of a century later against the background of the global financial crisis, Sir Peter Roberts, former Master of Woodstock College, receives a letter from Ash for Isabella. They are no longer young but they had made a tryst with destiny; old terrors and suppressed desires return.
Look, I have to be frank from the beginning and say that this book was not for me. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a bad book. Don’t judge is simply on a yes or no from me. Read my opinion of the pros and cons and determine whether or not this book fits your preferred style.
Let’s start with the good stuff. I love learning via fiction and I enjoyed the peek into Indian culture that The Dream That Held Us provided. True, it didn’t go too in-depth, but it did give me food for thought and a couple of new areas I’ll now do my own research into. There are also a number of other themes that would be enjoyable for different readers: politics, inter-cultural relationships, unhappy relationships, and seeing two people mature over time.
What can be considered either a pro or a con is that The Dream That Held Us read a bit more like a short story. Personally, short stories aren’t for me as I require more time to become attached to what I’m reading. I guess the fact that I felt disconnected from both the characters and the plot was what swung this book the wrong way for me. Ash and Isa were from a completely different world than me and, while usually, I can find something that would connect me to a character, this time I failed. The story moved too fast for me to get really stuck into their relationship, especially in the beginning where I was experiencing more flashback scenes than getting right in. Plus, as the story moved too fast for the lifespan it covers, I felt that nothing really happened. I’m guessing I felt this way because there was no real lead up or climax points in the story.
But don’t take my word as gospel. If you feel this is a book you can get onboard with, you can pick up your copy of The Dream That Held Us here.
I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review.