Author: Tony Parsons
Price: 325 INR
The tag line on the cover says: How far would you take your family for a better life?
So! It’s about a family, for family and of family. Bill Holden-a successful and ambitious lawyer- with his beautiful wife and best friend-now a housewife- Becca and their lovely 4 years old daughter Holly shift to Shanghai, from London, for a better life, a better future.
There are faces of Shanghai, the original China and the made-up China which are revealed to this family of three in the course of their time spent in the new country.
Something happens back home in London and Becca and Holly have to go. For how long will they be gone? Will they come back to Bill? Is it just going to be a phase or a permanent change in their life? Bill is insecure about this move but Becca is sure that it’s just a phase and they’ll be back in his life, in a short while.
Bill’s life suddenly becomes lonely and he starts feeling left out-clueless. After all he loves his daughter and wife and it was for them, to provide them a better life than what they had in London, that he had taken this plunge of shifting the bases and changing job.
At work, Bill is exposed to a new set of rules of working and he is amazed the way with which the upper rungs are willing to fill in their pocket at the expense of poor and needy. That’s what they call growth and developed country-but for Bill the definition and concepts of laws were different. He gets stuck between need and principles.
Though Becca was sure and she believed that nothing will change in their lives, in their marriage and life will still be like a fairy tale-sadly, life is not a fairy tale always-specially it is least when we expect it to be.
Bill and Becca go through a rough patch in their relationship which brings them to a point where they are to decide whether they want to continue being life partners anymore! It’s tough since they still love each other and they have their daughter to answer to-a 4 year old to be explained why her parents are not going to be together anymore.
The story line is very ordinary and close to real life. One could feel connected through out with the emotional ups and downs presented in the entire plot though there are moments where you would not agree or relate to them and you would also wish that it should never happen to you! The characters are like one of us-sometimes strong and sometimes week enough to break down.
An angle of Shanghai, its cheap labour and the working system is presented in a nut shell which hovers around the the storyline. It’s like an insight into what really happens in that corner of the world.
This was the first novel of Tony that I read. Have heard a lot about his other books-Man and Boy, Man and wife and the likes making huge success. I would recommend this book though I won’t tag it as highly recommended cause it’s going to get mixed reactions-me thinks. There would be set of people who would love it and there would be others who would just like it .
Honestly, I belong to both the sects!!! Hence I give it 3 stars.