WRITING STYLE: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3/5
I always hold biographies and memoirs in high regard.
Whether they are about someone very successful and famous or about someone who is relatively unknown, there are always lessons that can be learned from the experiences of others.
I recently found myself reading the horrifying true story of Masaji Ishikawa, a man who managed to escape from North Korea. His memoir A River in Darkness is a book that I would recommend to every nonfiction lover.
Just last week, I also had an opportunity to read another dark true story but this time it was of a horrendous childhood. I am talking about Ritika Madaan’s From Dusk to Dawn, a book in which she narrates to us the story of a child abuse survivor, Daniel Thomas.
Read on to know about my thoughts on this book.
What to expect?
Expect a book that is a rather short read (less than 100 pages). Expect a book that tells us the true story of a child abuse survivor, Daniel Thomas who narrates his life story to the author.
Also, expect a book that is written in a rather simple way but makes up for it with a story that is both gripping and moving.
Who can read?
Since the book is written using a simple language and is a rather short read, it can be easily picked up by non-readers and beginner level readers.
It especially makes sense for parents and professionals that deal with children (for example teachers, counsellors etc) to read this book for it will help them better understand the situations, circumstances and proofs that point towards child abuse.
A brief sneak peak into the life of Daniel Thomas
Daniel Thomas is a young boy of eight when the book starts narrating his life story. He lives in England with his mother and two younger siblings.
Their dad left them when he was very young and that is probably what triggered his mother’s physical and verbal abuse towards Daniel.
Life takes Daniel to different places, sometimes even far away from the hold of his abusive mother, but life is never kind to Daniel.
In this book, we learn about Daniel’s violent childhood and how it shaped up his entire life as a person.
How good is the writing style?
When it comes to the writing style, there is a kind of Indian touch that is quite noticeable in the author’s writing style. It is not something that pulls down the book but nevertheless it is there.
Also, I feel there is a kind of abruptness which is exercised by the author while penning down certain chapters. It feels like some of them were written in haste or just cut down randomly probably to stick to a certain word count.
Is the editing good enough?
One review after the other, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a good editor but almost 40% of the books that I read are poorly edited.
With such an alarming percentage of authors forgoing such a crucial aspect of publishing a book, no wonder English reading in India still has a long way to go.
In this book too there is a lack of proper editing that somehow doesn’t help much when it comes to the reading pleasure.
Let’s talk about the candidness
I like biographies and memoirs that are candid, that don’t hold anything back, that are not window-dressed but appear to be written straight from the heart.
In the case of From Dusk to Dawn, the book is written by the author Ritika Madaan as the story of Daniel Thomas.
When you are writing someone else’s story, it becomes difficult to be very personal. However, this is something that the author has achieved very well. The book has a personal touch and is also quite candid in laying bare the story of Daniel.
Is the book entertaining to read?
It will be wrong to say that the book isn’t interesting. Despite an amateurish writing and poor editing, the story itself is quite engaging.
When it comes to reading about Daniel’s life, there is always a big question mark that the reader continuously looks forward to getting answered in the subsequent pages.
This makes the book gripping and kind of unputdownable.
Pick it up
- If you enjoy reading biography and memoirs.
- If you wish to read the true story of a child abuse survivor.
- If you are looking for a short memoir that can be easily read in a few hours.
- If you don’t like poorly edited books.
- If you don’t like books with amateurish writing.
- If you don’t like biography and memoirs.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of From Dusk to Dawn using the link below.