Book Reviews,  Rupa Publishers

#Review: Afternoon by Nidhi Dalmia

Author: Nidhi Dalmia
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Rating: 4/5

High noon or afternoon, as a word, holds a decisive significance in the American West owing to the scorching sun quite literally burning over your head. It’s the time of the day that’s difficult and exhausting. It’s also when there are no shadows and everything can be seen in the light of the day. Hence, when the lives of the characters in this story come together, it only makes sense that the readers are able to understand what’s happening in the climax. The title is apt, for it involves a lot of revelations, realizations and retrospection. Afternoon, a novel by Nidhi Dalmia, is an exquisite literary exploration of love, loss, and the intricate complexities of human relationships. Set against the backdrop of the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Kashmir and Delhi, this book takes readers on a captivating journey through time and emotion.

Dalmia’s prose is elegant and evocative, painting vivid imagery and immersing readers in the lush landscapes of Delhi and Kashmir. The novel skillfully incorporates the narratives of significant societal transformations across various global locations, such as Paris, Berkeley, Warsaw, Tokyo, and even Delhi. It captures the essence of cultural, sexual, and student revolutions, highlighting the profound impact they had on the world. Additionally, the book beautifully portrays the prevailing sense of hope and idealism during the 1960s, a time when it seemed as if these optimistic sentiments would endure indefinitely.

The characters in Afternoon are complex and multi-dimensional, each wrestling with their own desires, ambitions, and inner conflicts. Rajiv’s longing for connection is poignantly portrayed, while Catherine’s resilience shines through the pages. Dalmia masterfully captures the intricacies of human emotions, portraying the spectrum from love and passion to heartbreak and longing.

One of the book’s notable strengths is its exploration of the historical and social context of India during the 60s. While Afternoon is an immersive and engrossing read, there are moments when the pacing slows down. However, the richness of the storytelling and the depth of the characters compensate for these occasional lulls, keeping readers engaged throughout.

Nidhi Dalmia’s Afternoon is a poignant and compelling tale that seamlessly merges history, romance, and introspection. It is a book that delves into the human condition, exploring themes of love, loss, and ok power of emotions to transcend time.

It is a book worth savouring, allowing readers to lose themselves in its pages and emerge with a renewed appreciation for the complexities of life and love.

Best wishes to the author!

Buy this book here: Amazon

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