Book Review – Tomorrow’s Promise

Title: Tomorrow’s Promise

Author: Bubbles Sabharwal

Publisher: Penguin

Price: Rs. 199

Bubbles Sabharwal’s book explores Shirin Bhatia’s life, which typically revolves around her husband and her daughter. She strives to be a good wife, a perfect wife to her husband Kabir. She is a typical small town girl who has been brought into the city because of her husband’s work.

The move

This longing for perfection goes terribly haywire when she goes to a party where her husband introduces her to the highly successful Udayn Batra. She feels a sudden inexplicable desire for him. The desire is not explained any time through the course of the novel. As Kabir’s work becomes more productive and his work life faster and her spoilt daughter moves abroad Shirin finds herself all alone in an empty house. She meets Udayn at occasional, intervals and yet is completely in love with him and even compares him to her husband! In a tragic twist she learns of Udyan’s death and, before she absorbs it, her husband’s fast lifestyle catches up with him and he suffers a stroke. Her daughter blames her for it. Lost and seemingly alone Shirin throws herself into NGO work and puts her life back together again. She finds love in Umesh, Udyan’s nephew.

The book begins well as the reader is offered a peek into Shirin’s everyday life. The book traces her life in four stages though it is rather disconnected. The flow of events and its consequences is somewhat unreal. However the book has a few rather interesting sub- plots that haven’t been delved into enough. For example, Shirin’s single friend who is constantly in a dysfunctional relationship and an ex-girlfriend of Umesh’s who later transforms herself. These characters flutter in and out of the novel and while you want to know more about them and why they are like this , you never find out. There are sparks where the book is captivating and Sabarwal has a talent of describing scenes in great detail with minimal words. The family takes a trip to Tokyo which perfectly portrays their lives. The book loses out because you never feel connected to the plot or characters. It remains a story till the very end. The experiences described in the book are likely realistic but its explanation lacking. Even Shirin’s thought process isn’t explained clearly enough. The book has a Bollywood film story plot and is appealing in parts.

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