I was glad when I received a signed copy of Preeti Shenoy’s The One You Cannot Have, which I had preordered from uRead.com. I could not wait to start it, but at the same time, I was waiting for the weekend to begin so that I could read late into the night, without the stress of getting up early next morning for the kids’ school bus. But, being sleep starved, I took longer than expected to finish the book.
How long does it take to heal a broken heart? Can you ever forget that one perfect relationship you had?
Anjali knows who she wants, she wants Aman. Aman too knows who he wants, he wants Shruti.
Shruti and Aman were once inseparable. Theirs was a love that would last forever and more. Then, out of the blue, Shruti left Aman. A devastated Aman moved abroad in the hope of forgetting Shruti and to heal. Shruti married Rishabh.
Now Aman is back in India and looking for a fresh start. But he is still haunted by memories of his love. Can he ever break free from it? His head tells him to move on, to find love with Anjali, but his heart won’t listen. No matter what he does, Shruti’s shadow looms large. Can there be a happily-ever-after for any of them?
A straight-from-the-heart modern-day romance of unrequited love, of complicated relationships and about moving on when you realise that there will always be the one you cannot have.
6 years ago, Aman Mathur and Shruti Srinivasan, from two different colleges in Bangalore, meet at a college festival and are inseparable since. Four years later, Shruti breaks up suddenly, marries Rishab Prasad and Aman gets transferred to the UK. Now, Aman is relocating to Bangalore after a stint in the UK for two years.
Aman is articulate, well mannered, polite, has a great sense of humour, a good conversationalist and a good listener. He has been brought up by his gardening lover mother in Gwalior and had moved to Bangalore for higher studies. Vikram is his boss, mentor and pillar of strength. He lives in Bangalore with his wife, and two two daughters, Ria and Reema.
Shruti works and lives in Mumbai after marriage. She is postponing having children though her husband, parents and inlaws want them. Asha is her friend and colleague.
Anjali Prabhu, a journalist, works for a magazine, Tiara and her parents live in Muscat. Her mother writes for the Indian community Magazine there. She is perceptive and sympathetic. Jeena Kapoor, chief editor of Tiara makes her work on deadlines. Whenever she is stuck in an article, she emails Sriram, Latika and Aman for their opinion.
Sriram Surve and Latika Nair are Anjali’s lifelines. They have been together since class six when they studied in a hostel in Bangalore. Sriram is a part of an amateur theatre group and rescues her from bad dates and she confides in both of them.
She has described the characters very well that they seem very realistic. Aman Mathur’s qualities are everything that the doctor ordered and all that a girl would want in a guy. Using the typed style of writing to portray the emails, letters, text messages and Anjali’s articles, is a very unique idea.
She has written the book in first person, from the point of view of the three main characters. I found it interesting that she would start the chapter with the name of the character whose point of view she wants to take. When one chapter ended at a climax, I had to read the next chapter to find what happened next. It is a book which cannot be kept down till it is over.
In one paragraph, on page 218-219, she has beautifully portrayed the three things that give Indian parents joy.
The best work of fiction, so far, by Preetii Shenoy.
Book Source: Bought