Book Name: Summer Holidays
Author: Koral Dasgupta
Book Blurb: Three cities—Mumbai, Bangalore and Shimla. And a big family feud spanning over sixteen years. Summer holidays is a fairy tale for adults with a comic take on modern families, their ideals, beliefs and prejudices.
Review: Koral Dasgupta’s Summer Holidays is a serious and coming of age tale. It explores the relationship between two cousins, Rishi and Mira. After a long period of estrangement, they live together and the book explores the sub-plots under this primary surmise.
Rishi is an artist while Mira is into technology. The trials and tribulations of a budding artist are explored deeply in the form of Rishi. He exudes confidence and a bit of arrogance and Mira plays the role of a care-giver and critic alike.
“The first step to being a successful artist is to find a muse and name her as your inspiration. Later, it is either the inspiration or, in the absence of the inspiration, addiction, that helps you go far in this industry.”
The relationship between the two siblings is explored deeply. Each one has their own struggles and demons. While Mira manages to fall somebody not quite her type, Rishi also has one sided feelings for a girl.
The book has everything going for it and the subject matter is also dealt with great sensitivity but somehow the narrative seems to falter especially in the end and there is no clear ending but the author otherwise manages to come out a winner.
Summer Holidays has all the right ingredients and the language skills of the author are also quite good. The voice never falters and except for a few narrative hiccups, the book is clearly a nice story told with a lot of maturity and candidness.