WRITING STYLE: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3/5
Dedicated to Mother Nature who’s plans are always greater than anybody’s past, Not a Different Story opens on a date in the previous week from the present.
It focuses on a case of the kidnapping of a politician’s daughter. The politician blames it on Shashank who had been harassing his daughter for a long time or so he claims.
It all turns out to be a case of an elopement as the two are madly in love but are unable to find family consent due to differences in their societal class.
Amy, the protagonist, has been viewing all of this with disgust. She hates the idea of elopement because her mother had run away in her childhood with a lover leaving Amy and her father behind.
Her helpless father had wrapped up everything in Varanasi and moved to Ahmedabad for a better future. Amy is now in college and blooming into a young lady. She is highly independent and can do all of her chores on her own.
Though she is highly concerned about her father, she does not show it on her face and they have little interaction on a daily basis. Her friends make up her whole world and they are extremely important to her.
The story constantly flips between the past and present which is exciting though it affects the pace. The author has a very unique manner of storytelling that likes to float between incidents.
It constantly moves from the past to the present and again into some dates of the past that makes for an interesting read though it requires the reader to remember a lot of things in order to connect the story together.
It is this stress on memory that is overwhelming. The story doesn’t follow a linear path.
The characterisation is central to the theme of the storyline. The story revolves around the lives of several characters like Amy, her mother Anshika, Anshika’s lover and Amy’s father.
Amy has a separate life outside of her family with her friends in college that she enjoys like any person her age.
Not a Different Story constantly focuses on the development in the lives of these characters and everything that they go through in separate stages. So, when one chapter covers the present day life of Amy, the next may include the past life of her mother or Rajat’s thoughts.
However, a daughter can only understand a mother when she goes through similar phases in her own life. Incidents take sharp turns when Amy finds out bitter truths and comes to scary realisations.
However, apart from the severe twists and turns of the plot along with multiple climaxes, the plot is too lengthy and the story can get tedious at several instances, to say the least.
There are fewer optimistic sides to this dramatic story and the book will be highly enjoyed by those who like reading family dramas.
On the upside, the book is worthy of being serialised as it bears all aspects of a well made theatrical plot. But it is too much to take in all at once. If read at a stretch, the book may be completed within 4-5 hours though it will leave the reader feeling utterly exhausted.
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