Nem was not like his college classmates. Instead of crowding around a TV set, Nem opted for lonely walks where he could indulge his passion for photography, until the night he saw Nicholas, a young professor from London, with another male student. The affair is passionate and brief. When Nicholas returns to London, Nem must move on. He graduates and soon finds success as a critic in New Delhi’s burgeoning art world. Then comes an invitation to speak to artists in London, and the past is suddenly resurrected. As London’s cosmopolitan art scene envelops Nem, he is haunted by the possibilities of a life with Nicholas. But Nicholas eludes Nem, avoiding a reunion with his old student, but leaving clues that lead to someone else: Myra, a woman Nem thought was Nicholas’s sister. Brought together by their love for Nicholas, Nem and Myra embark on a surprising friendship.
Gorgeously written, with a charm and whimsy that makes you feel like you’re sitting on the edge of a stormy beach, waiting for the waves to come in. Nem is an immediately likable character, someone who makes you remember all the awkwardness that comes with having your first love, and the pain of your first heartbreak. I’ve never been to Delhi, but I was able to visit through Nem’s eyes, through Pariat’s writing, and it was overall a wonderful experience.
I was a bit disappointed by the epilogue, but only because it left the book’s ending so ambiguous and I wanted it to be something a bit more solid. It seemed like it was all building up to one moment’s discovery, and then when finding out that it wasn’t quite the discovery you expected was a bit of a let down.
This book is fantastic, it’s got a perfect mix of nostalgia with hope, seamlessly flows between the past and the present. If you’re looking for something a little more edgy, then I would definitely recommend this book!