Book review | Strangers In The Night by Ruhee Advani
Author: Ruhee Advani
No. of pages: 194
Published on: 3rd April 2018
Published by: Notion Press
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Strangers in the Night is about two people who meet and fall in love but it's also about much more than that. It's about fears and dreams and the choice we sometimes have to make between the two. It's about friendship and family and how powerful they are, how they can create magic sometimes. It's about a hope that lives on forever. It's about doors opening right when you're about to give up on them.
Strangers in the Night is a love story but it's also a story about life and the mysterious, magical ways it works in sometimes.
The book starts off with an unexpected meeting between two perfect strangers on a cold lonely night just outside a London pub. Arjun, meets Alisha, a stranger, outside a London pub after he huffs out of it to have a smoke because of mere frustration of it being overcrowded and a place unsuitable of finding love. Arjun asks Alisha for a lighter and immediately regrets it because, either, their conversation starts irks Arjun, or, Alisha's optimistic nature irks Arjun. But as the night passes, they both realize that they are unmistakably drawn towards one another. Soon they bid their goodbyes but in their mind they still haven't.
Thus, begins Arjun and Alisha's story of highs and lows, of understandings and misunderstandings, as they realize that they want each other in their lives. Alisha, conflicted with her decision whether it's worth it to go back to India leaving Arjun forever and Arjun, frustrated at not being able to fall out of love with Alisha because she won't be staying with him forever.
The story though sweet and simple, has been made complicated by the author to spice it up. I would have utterly loved the story if not for the predictable plot. I especially didn't like how the whole story was just based upon Alisha's inability to decide whether she wants to stay back in London or go back to Indian.
I liked how the author has described their idea of romanticism, their stolen glances and their feelings for one another.
I desperately wanted to like Arjun's character but I wasn't. The story itself starts out with Arjun being a hypocrite about how women in London dress scantily and only want sex and he thinks to himself that if he'd want sex he could sleep with anyone he wants. I don't think the author wanted to make Arjun a character like this but I really disliked how his character views things. In the scene where he first meets Alisha he asks her for a lighter and when Alisha says that she doesn't he mutters 'good for you' and when Alisha smiles back and says respectfully that neither should he, Arjun retorts back. I don't know what to make out of this character. Was Arjun meant to be this despicable? I really don't know.
Initially I liked Alisha's character as well, but as the story progresses she turns from an optimistic, jovial and fun-loving character to a pessimistic, worrisome and meek character. That's some character underdevelopment.
There were some editorial mistakes that cab be called harmless, but other than this, the author's narration is very simplistic and there's no beating around the bush.
Ruhee Advani is a gifted and prolific writer, and her talent was recognized when she published her first set of poems at the age of fourteen. Her collection of short stories for children, written at the age of eight, has now been published as Girls and Boys, in the year 2018. Her other books include Finding Utopia, A Play, and Strangers in the Night, a work of fiction.
She still has a large volume of unpublished literature, including a play, sixteen fully completed novels and a multitude of poems that she has been compiling since she first learned how to write. She currently has another close to sixty stories in the works.
I received the book from the author in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.