Author: Veronika Carnaby.
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Year of Publication: 2012
Year of Publication: 2012
I received a copy of Bohemia from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.
Bohemia is about a group of youngsters in their journey to carve a niche of their own in this world. The plot takes place in the sixties- a time when setting forward to pursue ones dreams was still unheard of. The story revolves around V, short for Valerie Freed and the people she associates with. V and her best friend Emm are two free spirited girls from Cambridge, England. Still clueless and eager about their future, the girls meet 2 guys- Lester & Jimmy, hippies to the core who offer them a chance to explore the world. The 4 of them set out to explore what the world has to offer them. The 4 characters meet more interesting people on their way, musicians , dancers etc.
Each with their own dreams and goals, yet they are not hesitant to take up odd jobs to survive in this world. Their motto - live in the moment. The moment monotony hits, they pack up their bags and leave, find a new place to weave yet another experience. The story takes us from England to New York to Boston and hours spent travelling in their beat down car.
As the story progresses, some characters are left behind and new ones are added. Like mentioned before, each of the characters have their own dreams & visions. For instance, few of them are good dancers including Emm, then there are talented musicians, there is a photographer amongst them who captures breathtaking photographs. All of them were blessed with some or the other creative skills and all trying to make it big.
The only thing I was a little confused was time. Sometimes I would think that the story progressed couple of days and later I find out that it's just the next day or vice versa. Another thing which I noticed was sometimes it was difficult to track who is speaking to whom. So I would then have to go back and read the passage again to get the actual scene! I felt a little disappointed when the plot went ahead and the roles of Lester & Jimmy were abruptly terminated. Given the fact that V and Emm were friends for quite a long time, I didn't quite feel the depth in their relationship.Maybe it was because they were in living in a time when conformity didn't quite prevail! Different people wanted different things and they went different ways to make their dreams come true.
The book felt more like a memoir - a chunk from the protagonist's life, than a fiction. I liked how V was indecisive of what her skill was when all the people around her had it all figured out. The part when she finally understands what she was destined to be was very realistic It wasn't sudden, on the other hand it was a slow process and also with a help of a friend.
The feel of the book is relaxed. It has a very vintage feel to it. The language is crisp. I liked the fact that the author used bits and pieces of the slangs used then, in the book making it more authentic. The author takes us back in time to the age of rock and roll and the twist dance. Sepia mode, bare bulb-ed rooms laced with cigarette smoke, worn out guitars in battered houses and happy content youngsters. This was the picture painted in my mind while I read this book.
I particularly liked the ending. Since the ending is actually just the beginning. The book points out that life is a journey and every experience is a chapter. A delightful and a therapeutic book. A breezy read to take with you on a day at the beach!
I wish the author good luck in her future endeavors.