A Long Way Home by Mitali Meelan is my first read of 2019. After reading the book I have to say that it is a wonderful way to start the year. I instantly fell in love with the intelligent writing style of the author.
Story in Brief
The novel is about two brothers Arihant and Ishaan Adhikari. Both are gifted and extremely talented. They were caught up in similar but unpleasant circumstances where they were struggling to keep their dreams alive and not let down their parents. Their way of tackling and responding to the situation was completely different from one another.
My Thoughts on Story
The story of Adhikari household could be of anyone’s real life and family struggle. The dilemma to follow heart and live your dream or walk on the conventional laid out path and secure the future. Innumerable people find themselves in this tight spot only a few manage to take that leap of faith.
Now the tussle between parents and children over the career issue is age old, especially among the middle class where scope for trail and error process, experiment and failure breaks the backbone of the family. Unconventional career choices are not acceptable and encouraged by the parents. The author has done full justice to it.
I have read many books on this theme, but what really set apart this novel is the distinctive and unorthodox writing style of the author. The book has been written from the point of view of Arihant and Ishaan. And the author has provided a different voice to the narrative of both the characters. You will actually feel hearing two different people telling their story.
Arihant is a writer. His part is written in a very sophisticated manner, exactly in a way an author’s mind work- observing, keen eyes for details, someone who has his way with words. There were blog posts which were written exactly in that style. I marveled at the author’s presence of mind. It was a complete delight to read.
I normally don’t read prose in the novel. Just skip them. But not in this one. In between, through the character of Arihant, the author has included many beautiful and meaningful prose which were worth a read and reread.
The first half of the story was perfectly and beautifully written. There was a cloud of suspense around the whereabouts of Ishaan. But once that was revealed the book become fairly predictable. I heaved a breath of relief when Ishaan’s side of the story was revealed. In real life our perception becomes so biased if we look and hear just one side of the story. We become judgmental.
Characters are well rounded, perfectly sketched to fit in the role. They are all relatable. The character of Vartika intrigues me. I feel one can conquer the world with the kind of charisma and courage she possess. Similarly the character of Saloni could be a learning curve for many. Arihant was absolutely adorable.
Now you know why exactly I loved this book. I think the author’s writing style, the way she handled the issue, relatable situation and identifiable characters made all the difference.
Only the second half, especially Ishaan’s part could have been a little more crisp would have been better.
It is a four star read.
Mitali Meelan works for Shemaroo Entertainment. She’s also the author of Coffee and Ordinary Life and The Guest.
The Long Way Home is the first book which I have read written by the author. Now I am eager to check out her other books as well. As per her writing style she seems to be a promising writer.