Author: Chitra Anand
Beyond School centers upon the weeks leading up to 17 year old Shail’s final board exams, as his world becomes a pressure cooker and the weight of preparing for exams sends him fleeing rebelliously in the other direction.
Along with Sahil’s journey from boyhood to manhood, Beyond School vividly weaves between the narratives of four main characters, seamlessly uniting the past and the present of Shail, his parents – Urmila and Sushil and his mentor – Gladys, in a story that is honest, funny, heartbreaking and ultimately incredibly human.
The book started at a very slow pace, but the interest developed as and when the book progressed.
The story is about a football crazy guy, Sahil, who is about to appear for his board exams in one month. As the story moves on, we learn that Sahil does not want to appear for his exams this year and has not prepared for it.
The story fluctuates from present to past, telling the story of sahil’s parents as well as Gladys, his mentor.
I quite liked the character of Gladys, she was complex and tried to understand everyone. How she connected with other students and their issues.
My issue with the story is that everything that possibly could be a problem in the entire student life was dealt with in a month! Yes, some incidences did happen in the past, but instead of incidences revolving around the story, the story was revolving around the incidences.
Also, the most of the story is based in Dubai, but majorly have only Indian characters, and the setting felt very much like it was happening in India. No doubt there were a few references to the places in Dubai, it still was not very convincing. At least, not for me.
(This book was was sent to me by Nimi Vashi as a part of the Readers Cosmos Review Programme. Thank You, Nimi, for the Book! :))
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