It’s always been my dream to finish writing a story, publish a book and become an author, also me, finding the most impossible task. So it comes with immense delight and pride to write a review of “The sea and I”, a book written by one of my own, a Tangkhul girl!
Thank you Mrs Chirmi and Mr. Shimray , (aka mr_frogprince ) from TangkhulOnline.com for being so kind as to send me a signed copy of the book!
Now, let’s get into it.
It’s the beginning of a new phase, Afi has just started her first year in college with her sassy best-friend, her parents are loving and her life can’t get any more exciting after meeting Jay, the cute boy who just happens to go to the same college as her.
Its early morning, at the far edge of the sea, the dawn has just begun to break. But for Afi, the light is flickering as she walks deeper into the water, hoping to end the struggle to the fight she’s been putting up to survive her grief. In a span of a few months, her once sunny life has turned into a storm of grief, life has mercilessly taken every reason she thought she was living for. So what will it take for a person to go on despite it all?
Chirmi Shimray’s debut novel is youthful, tragic and so very hopeful – it’s a combination of theme tailored for young readers, a wholesome healthy dose of an optimistic message to help them when faced with, what seem to be insurmountable grief and self-blame often rooted in low self-esteem.
Grief is a theme, one cannot use sheer imagination to fill pages of a book, it must come partly if not all from personal experience. Chirmi, in an interview with rootsandleisure and also in my own inquiry, confessed that a chapter called ‘paradise’ from the book was entirely inspired by her own experience, and to me, it was that chapter where I truly connected with the book. As much as I cared about the characters and the story, it is the writer’s very heart surfacing in the words that made me turn the pages back, after the last page.
The population of character is kept minimum but each character is carefully weaved into the plot of the story, I especially like the twist given to unexpected characters making it impossible for the story to be without them.
On the style of her writing, it is contemporary and easy to read, but sometimes we can get lost in the long and a little need of more clarity in the timeline of thought processes, flashbacks or the switch between the two, which may be the reason why the first few chapters failed to hold my attention. But I can assure you, the emotions come through, swelling and overwhelming you, and it does more than hold your attention. It swallows you into the deep dark ocean only to let you resurface, with a renewed spirit for life.
In words of Chirmi “… it was paradise out there and there I was, always feeling like a loser, worthless and a rejected person wrapped with frustration and addicted to my own pain.” Some have seen and been to what’s there after overcoming our greatest and lowest time, some have given up, others are barely hanging on to cross the threshold. And for those who have experience resurfacing from the darkest period, it is humanity at its purest to stretch out a hand and hold up the torch for others behind, and Chirmi does her part, with heartwarming assurance.
Review by Lum Shaiza. Visit her blog TangkhulGirl.com to read more interesting blogs!