Book review | A Sum of our Choices by Chaitanya Salvi


Author: Chaitanya Salvi

Genre: philosophy fiction, thriller 

No. of pages: 300

Published by: Flipping Pages

Published on: 1st January 2021

Format: Paperback

My rating: ★★★☆☆

Ashutosh is a young, renowned and ambitious businessman; busy building a profitable business and a lavish lifestyle. He thinks that he is in total control of his thriving life, but fate doesn’t concur with him. An unexpected event turns his life upside down. Destiny manifests an unanticipated enigma and devises miseries for him to deal. What choices will he make? What karma is he going to do? Will fortune smile on him again?

But one thing is for sure, Ashutosh is not going to rest until he uncovers the mystery, regains lost ground, and rebuilds his life.

Ashutosh has been a successful and megalomaniac businessman and by his own merit he has established his company at a young age. But he is thirsty for more and more power. And because of this he even cut ties with his long term girlfriend and removed every possible competitors that dared to stand between him and his company. His tendency to hoard wealth and his greed made him turn away from social work and NGOs that approached his company. He doesn't believe in destiny or Karma and believes that whatever he is today is because of his calibre.

Ashutosh's faith in himself is put into a test when sudden turn of events makes him lose everything in his life. Now he is on his own way, and only his destiny and Karma can save him from doom.

A Sum of our Choices converges the path of philosophy and reality with a very addictive story. I am not a big believer of Karma or destiny myself, but the author has written a very mysterious character referred to as the "monk" who has a very convincing way to make you question your own beliefs as a reader. Ashutosh's rise and fall and his back story that unravels with each chapter will keep you hooked.

Destiny manifests, and Karma remembers. 


The story does go back and forth in time, but I loved how it was placed. It was not confusing at all. The book is divided into four parts which gives up four phases of Ashutosh's life. The book is fast paced as well. A lot of events take place within 300 pages. So for people who do not like book with lots of description, this book will be perfect for them. But I do believe a lot more could be possible with the plot. 

The book does not have any memorable characters though. I wish the author had laid a more concrete groundwork to Ashutosh's power-hungry character. I felt it a bit lacking because most of the time it was overshadowed by the repetition of his physical description.

Even though the book had a mystery or a thriller aspect to it, it didn't make any impact on me. The ending seemed a bit rushed and the end was a bit predictable but nevertheless, this book is a very good read for those who are interested in philosophy fiction but does not want to be overwhelmed with the philosophy part. 

The writing style is very plain and simple. It has a smooth narration and does not delve into hard-core philosophy. It has more dialogues than descriptions which makes it a very easy read. The chapters are relatively small and even the paragraphs are quite short. All in all, the writing style is perfect for people who aren't much into books but would love to.

Chaitanya Salvi is enthusiastic about writing, especially existential fiction. He believes that writing gives him purpose and peace. The Return Journey is his second novel but his first attempt at writing in the English language. His debut novel, Karaar, was written in the Marathi language and was published in 2016. He likes to read books of various genres.

He graduated as a Bachelor of Engineer. Finding defects in software is his hobby and also his profession. He lives in Pune with his wife and son.

I received a copy of the book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review


  1. You're Indian I'd imagine.
    Summa my friends are Indian.
    Lovely people.
    Quiet N giving.
    But, alas!
    They worship idolatry.
    Follow us Upstairs:
    ♡ ♡


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