I recently went to Ooty for a short trip. Ooty is a little hill station nestled in the mountains of Nilgiris. Imagine breathing fresh, cold air. Your hands, feet and nose freezing. Anywhere your eyes land, seeing at least four varieties of flowers and beautiful bright green terraced garden. Tiny little huts scattered everywhere, all in pastel hues. Blue, blue sky and puffy cottony clouds. Yellow butterflies having a time of their life and birds flying in harmony. A few charmingly mismatched chairs placed on the grass. And to top it off I woke up bright and early and sat with a book amidst this almost surreal scene.
Obviously, my expectations from the book were a little too high. I chose James Patterson’s ‘Sam’s letters to Jennifer’. I had a lot of hopes also because I had read ‘Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas’, by Patterson, a long time ago, when I was in high school, and a hopeless romantic, to boot. With time the book itself became a beautiful memory- the respite of reading a few wonderful pages at a time. So I went the extra mile, and got a steaming mug of coffee and began.
Bringing this particular book proved to be a good choice. It wasn’t so wishy-washy to be a completely predictable romance, and it wasn’t a long discourse on the subjects of life and death. It was just right. I’m going to try and explain a bit about it without giving away too much. Needless to say, this book is about Sam’s letter to Jennifer. But it’s not just letters. This book tells the story of how much our stories mean. Each individual becomes larger than life, yet more real, when we make the effort to understand them. Get a few glimpses of their life. See what they saw. Know how life treated them and the choices they made. How people deal with their own tragedies, and how they choose to narrate their life.
Even though I didn’t finish it all at one setting (I did the same routine the next day as well) I savoured it and I was in quite the contemplative mood after reading it. What I was thinking was all over the place but still makes so much sense. Mostly that like everyone else I also have a story. And I want to know stories. Because “what are we, but our stories?” Maybe the book was a little bit cheesy at times, but what the hell. I stopped thinking of it being cheesy, and just dived in, and I think that’s how it should be. I love Patterson’s writing style. Interestingly I’ve never read his thrillers, though he is mainly known for that. The characters felt real and human. The narrative was very direct and there was no pretentious bullshit. So yes, I would recommend it to people.
Do you like to read? Have you any favourite holiday books? And what are your thoughts after reading them?
(image from weheartit.com)