ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Boundary Road by Ami Rao #BlogTour
It’s my stop on the blog tour for Boundary Road by Ami Rao. It’s published by Everything With Words and available now in paperback and eBook. You can read an extract on the publisher’s website here. My thanks to Mikka for the review copy and for asking me to be a part of the tour.
A story of colliding lives, beguiling opportunities, and reckless illusions. A compelling blend of comedy and tragedy. Love, desire, fear, and dreams on a London bus: we’re on the thirteen, heading for Boundary Road. People get on and off leaving something of themselves behind, but two of the passengers have past they can’t escape. People can’t stop talking. A giddy cocktail of monologues, dialogues, memories and gleeful anticipation. It’s amazing what people will say to total strangers. Suddenly the unsayable just trips off the tongue and there’s so much feeling behind it; hours of thought, sprinkled with melancholy or sharp blades of aggression. While some just accept what life offers, others react with dangerous determination. A man haunted by his past and the many pasts of his family, but in love with the present; all that’s greeting his senses right now. He’s charming but he’s got a secret waiting to catch up with him. A woman stifled by lack of affection but determined to do what’s right. A man obsessed with architecture and in love with a painting. For most, it’s a liberating opportunity to exchange confidences with a stranger, but for two of passengers this journey will be unexpectedly life changing.
Boundary Road is an innovative and compelling slice of life story set mostly on a London bus. Aron Wilson has just started a new job and gets the number 13 home, a journey that will take him 90 minutes. During a busy rush hour Aron encounters a variety of folk and has interactions with some of them. Also on the bus is Nora, making her way home too. These two main characters form the central point around which the plot revolves.
I loved the sound of this character-driven book and I wasn’t disappointed. It felt like being a fly on the bus window, dropping into all the different conversations. All of human life can be found on a London bus in rush hour and I enjoyed the diversity and the communication between the passengers.
I felt immersed in the enclosed environment, the multi-cultural characters, the sights and sounds, the thoughts and opinions. All so evocative and the dialogue felt authentic and honest. I smiled along with the characters but then every so often something would happen that would give me a jolt and one incident in particular left me reeling. I don’t think I’ll forget it in a hurry.
Boundary Road hits hard. It’s a reminder of the complexity of human beings and their emotions and it delivers a powerful message about the fragility of life.
Ami is an award winning British-American writer who has lived and worked in Asia, Europe, North America and the Caribbean. Home, most recently for her, was North London where she lived for many years, taking the Number 13 bus for her daily commute. Boundary Road was inspired by her love of London: its multiculturalism, its melancholy, its magnificent madness. When she is not writing, Ami can be found reading, listening to classical music or dabbling in jazz. Ami has a BA in English Literature from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MBA from Harvard. Boundary Road is her fourth work.