3 out of 4 stars
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Yesterday by Samyann is the work of fiction based on the theme of reincarnation. The story is the perfect blend of romance, fiction, history, mystery, loss, and pain. However, it can be considered as double reincarnation theme as both the main characters experience their past in one way or the other. It is a story of "past, present and future".
Amanda, the main character of the story saves the life of Chicago policeman, Mark Callahan by risking her own life. As she interacts with him, she feels that she already knows him. Unsure of her feelings for Mark, she is intrigued by her feeling of knowing him in the past and as they come closer, her belief in her past relationship becomes stronger. Meanwhile, she buys an old clock which was burnt in the Great Chicago Fire and its chimes give her a feeling of déjà vu. On the suggestion of Mark, she undergoes regression sessions with her godmother Mary to unearth the mystery of her past life. During the regression, she not only gets to know herself as Bonnie May Belle but also realizes that she had a very troubled and painful life in the past. Both Amanda and Bonnie experienced the pain of losing their happiness and loved ones. It has a great psychological impact on Amanda and she tries to push Mark away despite knowing that she loves him a lot. The way story builds and unearths fears engraved in the hearts of Amanda and Bonnie, for the people they love, makes it an interesting read.
The story is well built and the author has successfully managed to tackle both lives of Amanda quite artistically without leaving any loopholes. Though the idea of reincarnation is very difficult to believe for a lot of readers, yet the historical links and regression session added beauty to the storyline and made it readable and believable. Another aspect of the story is a silver lining in the times of despair and fear. The author has very beautifully depicted the beauty the life holds for those who suffer pain and misery and they finally end up happy and contented with their lives. The only thing such people should do is that they should remain happy and live their lives without any fear while accepting the challenges life throws at them. Moreover, the book was very well researched as far as the history of the Civil War and Chicago Fire is concerned.
One thing that intrigued me while reading the book was Amanda's fear of losing loved ones. Though she had a hard time as Bonnie in her life, it is pertinent to mention that it happened during the war in the country and many people had lost their loved ones during that period. However, finally, she settles down in a beautiful home with Jack, her children, and a loving husband. One wonders as to why her fear of loss and pain was stronger than happiness which later affected her present life as she was unable to accept happiness at the core of her heart. Another aspect to be considered is her relationship with Mark. She rejects him and pushes him away. It's surprising that he still holds the ground and is always there for her. Perhaps it's his love for Amanda or their past which keeps them glued despite their troubled relationship. The ending of the story with "Ferris wheel" was a bit cliché and it could have been written in a better way.
The book is strongly recommended for the readers of fiction, history, and reincarnation. The romantic aspect of the book is very beautifully depicted with natural feelings, conversation, gestures and remarks among the main characters which keep the reader glued to the book.
I would rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. It is an interesting read and well-written keeping in view the subject of reincarnation which may end in a disaster if not handled properly by the author. As it was Samyann's first novel, therefore, the strong storyline demands an applaud. The phrases used and simple language gave a natural flow to the story which was interesting and pleasant.
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