What a beautiful love story! It is hard to review this book without giving away any major plot points, but I remember reading a research study that said that the pleasure of reading a book is increased if the reader knows how the story is going to end. Nevertheless, I will NOT reveal whether the protagonists get their “happily-ever-after” or not. I will say that the book took an unexpected turn in the end—it would have suited my romantic sensibilities better if it had ended differently.
The old-world charm of love letters, written during a time when the main form of communication was by mail and set in picturesque Shimla, is palpable. Mishra has successfully presented the sharp contrast in the (Internet and SMS lingo-filled) language we use today and the softer, flowing, lyrical language that people used decades ago. I’d say that the letters were a treat to read and helped the love story unfold vividly.
The narrative is rich with descriptions—from clothes and food to houses and personalities. It was easy to picture each character and each location in the mind’s eye. However, it was a little hard to stomach the sudden transformation of Alex from “rich, spoilt boy” to “caring, responsible man” overnight. Perhaps it would have been believable if some more time had elapsed between the incident at the orchard and the reconciliation.
Although Bobby (Twisha, the protagonist’s co-worker) is described as an irritating girl who did not know how to respect boundaries, it seemed that Twisha was snobbish and thought no end of herself without having done anything special to deserve such a pedestal. The reader is supposed to accept Twisha as a successful, no-nonsense woman, but she really comes off as a person with a swollen head. She definitely meets her match in Alex when it comes to treating people dismissively.
The narrative begins to drag a bit when Chris repeatedly refuses to entertain queries about Jasmine. When the reason for his refusal is revealed, it doesn’t seem convincing enough to explain his previous behavior.
Notwithstanding these minor flaws, “For the Sake of Love” was a beautiful overnight read that left me with a bittersweet feeling. I wanted to read the book again and change the conclusion to give myself closure!
(I was offered a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.)