TIME IS A FIRE – Book Review

  • Author: Vikram Kapur
  • Genre: Contemporary Fiction
  • Paperback: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English

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Set in Seattle, Vancouver, and Delhi, Time is a Fire blends mystery, romance, and political history to tell the story of lives turned upside down by Indira Gandhi’s assassination through a young woman’s bid to lay to rest the ghosts of her own tormented past.

My Review

Time is a fire. It burns down everything. History is nothing, but an inspection of its ashes.

A meticulously written novel that holds history, mystery, and love so perfectly – Time is a Fire- has everything you would want to find in a good novel. It is an example of fine literature which blends different themes and emotions to touch the mind and heart of its reader.

The book dates back to the fateful day of October 31, 1984, when the then Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi was assassinated. The act was committed by the Sikhs and was followed by the pogrom covering the whole Sikh community. Amrita, the protagonist, recalls coming back home on the night of October 31 to see her dead parents. She is shocked to witness the scene and thereafter, her life changes overnight. Years later, in Seattle, a familiar face from the past bumps into her life and writes to her. There is urgency in that letter and before she could discover what was it about, the person is dead. The mystery unfolds gradually as the novel proceeds with the induction of new characters. As a bemused Amrita looks for answers, she finds the past to unravel in ways she could never imagine. Towards the end, the story surprises you, makes you cringe and cry, all together at the same time.

The writing style of the author made the complete reading experience for me an enriching one. The rhetorical style adds to a wonderful impact on a reader. The manner in which the story develops keeps you at the edge of your seat. And for someone(like me), who was uninformed about the history, the book is both entertaining and knowledgeable. As for the language, it is so smooth. The narrative is subtle and to the point. In fact, it was a refreshing book for me that had a seamless transition from a point to the other.

It is gripping. It holds you and you are bound to stay back glued to the book because you want to know what happened next! I was amazed at the stunning revelations which followed one after the other. The time of Emergency is a painful memory and the hearts ache even today remembering it. I could feel the torment of the people and what they have been through at that time.

Set in Vancouver, Seattle, and Delhi, the book moves from one place to the other and the reader explores the contours of history. The lives went berserk after the riots of 1984 and it has been brought out in the book really well. Indeed time is a fire.

The book offers an intellectually stimulating experience and provides insights into the realms of the past. It was hard to believe that it was a fiction. Overall, I had a really amazing experience reading it and I am happy that I picked it up. Do check this book out!

MY RATING – 5/ 5


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13 thoughts on “TIME IS A FIRE – Book Review

Add yours

  1. Great review. Time is an encapsulation of memories and pain that comes along. While it heals the most wretched soul, time also reminds us that nothing is permanent.

    Liked by 1 person

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