I received the book RSVP by Ruchira Khanna as a review copy from the author. This book is not about the romantic love but about things that we take for granted in life. And when things change, we look for a scapegoat. The author has beautifully narrated the tale of Jay Sethi and how life changes for him twice. It is one book that made me realise a lot of things.
Jay Sethi, an Indian-born American, has lived with the consequences of a torn family since a teenager. After facing the effects of unrequited love and unpaid credit card bills, he settles in a small town in California from where he embarks on a cruise with his canine best friend, Yogi. He is shipwrecked and washed ashore on an island that would be nothing short of fantasy to others. There he realizes the impact of love and a lack of attachment, and through the work of a local, he is given the opportunity to visit his past.
Will Jay be able to relieve his hiccup of years?
Will the broken bridges and the seemingly permanent goodbyes remain that way?
RSVP: A novel explores the lines between reality and illusion and the significance of family.
Jay Sethi lived in India with his parents and grandparents. He was ten when his parents adopted his cousin, eleven year old Gina, who had lost her parents to a fatal car accident. And Jay and Gina have practically grown up as siblings, been each other’s best pals, had seen adversities but refuse to pour their heart out. He was very close to his dad and his dad deserted them, had given up everything, gone to the mountains and lives in solitude.
Now at 27, Jay is running his café, Got T in California, for three years having quit his corporate job, taken a loan and going back to his grass roots to get his stability because his legs were trembling due to his breakup with his fiancée Sasha and the credit pile-up. He was bruised wickedly and all he wanted was stability and love. Jay is uncomfortable in close relationships and does not have friends except his dog and his customers.
His dog Yogi, a two year old beagle, is his best friend and for him Jay is his dad, his caretaker and Yogi is obliged to take care of him whenever the opportunity arises.
Gina Mehra, Jay’s cousin had left the town two years ago to pursue her studies in Kingston City, Jamaica despite constant no’s from his mother and their grandparents. Now she is back and her study subject for her masters is Jay. And now that she is here, Jay wants to tick off another item on his bucket list and go for a week long cruise on the Pacific. And he wants to take Yogi with him.
And he and Yogi are shipwrecked and reach and island of 30 inhabitants where nobody speaks English except Mack, and he becomes his saviour.
The cover reminded me of The Life of Pi but I loved this book more.
A beautifully written story of things we take for granted and once we do not get them we look for scapegoats.
The characters are relatable and the relationships between them is realistic. Be that between Jay and Yogi, Jay and Gina, Jay and his customers, Jay and the mysterious woman who comes for her routine food at a fixed time and even that between Jay and his mother (sometimes I felt for his mother and sometimes for him). I loved his café and could imagine myself sitting there with a cup of jay’s special tea.
The quotes at the beginning of each chapter were very apt for the particular chapter.
This book got me thinking and also thanking. One line in chapter eight kept me on the edge of the seat. You will have to read the book to see which.
A book that is a definite must read for all ages above 14 (because the little ones would not understand the depth of the book, but they would also love Yogi and his antics).
My question: will there be a sequel??
DISCLAIMER: I received the book as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.