Title: That Valentine’s Day
Author: Ishita Bhuyan
Publisher: One Point Six Technologies Pvt Ltd
Genre: Romance, Chicklit
First Publication: 2022
Book Summary: That Valentine’s Day by Ishita Bhuyan
The universe is one enchanting place! What makes it so beautiful is love; what makes it magical is love.
This year, Valentine’s Day will not be the same for Hreeta, Teesha, Shyra, Kiara, and Akshara. They fell in love, and lost in love. But they had the courage to fight back and to take the reins of life in their own hands. Refusing to stay as mere ideas of strong women, they chose to be living, breathing humans who stood up, flexed their muscles, and projected their voice.
A single ‘right’ swipe creates the butterfly effect, fixing incorrect pieces of the puzzle of multiple lives, with a little help from the universe working in its mysterious ways.
That Valentine’s Day is a roller coaster ride that has laughter and lamentation, rainbow and rain, sunshine and storm…a lot like the journey all of us are on.
Book Review: That Valentine’s Day by Ishita Bhuyan
A sparkling breath of fresh air, That Valentine’s Day captures the spirit of friendship in the most charming and sauciest manner possible. Breaking the age-old mould with insouciance, Ishita Bhuyan creates a world where it is possible for five friends, as different as chalk and cheese, to form a deeply satisfying friendship. They care for each other, love each other, put aside fights and misunderstandings with a careless shrug, and offer unstinted, non-judgmental support any time, every time.
The plot of this novel centres around five friends named Hreeta, Teesha, Shyra, Kiara, and Akshara. They’d all been in love with someone before and been heartbroken by the loss of that relationship. Rather than focusing on the negatives, they decided to take advantage of any opportunity that came their way. A common trait among them is the determination to fight against all the odds and succeed in the face of great adversity. That Valentine’s Day by Ishita Bhuyan offers an engrossing narrative that chronicles the lives of these five women, each with a complicated past, who meet by chance through one right swipe on a friendship app on Valentine’s Day. Each of these women has a story to tell, and their lives are intertwined in a way that will keep you turning pages.
Going into it, I expected some silly, shallow book about five girls falling in love over one day, but instead this book focused on the exploration of the bonds of friendship. That Valentine’s Day is not a romance, although there are romantic elements to varying degrees in the girls’ stories. The aspect of romance was done with subtlety and the focus was on their growth rather than just focusing on girl-meets-boy and their happily-ever-afters. The five main characters, as well as many of the side characters, were fleshed out very well and distinct from one another.
The short chapters keep the pages turning, and by the end of the novel, I found myself very involved in the lives of the characters. For all of its splendour and scope, the book is, at the same time, calm and intimate. Ishita Bhuyan’s prose is ravishing. It’s graceful without being precious, mature and knowing while still immediate and visceral. She literally plunges you into the lives of these women. Brimming with energy and vitality, the book effortlessly hops between the five friends as they deal with life, love, and all other things.
The ferocity and clarity with which Ishita expresses herself as a writer are primary contributors to the book’s singularity and originality. When she writes about the most mundane details, she does it with an almost hallucinogenic fervour, making her style well suited to describing the joys and torments of these women, when every day holds moments of both essential misery and success, which few grownups are capable of recognising. Highly recommended.