The One that Got Away by Annabel Kantaria promises to take you into the world of college romances when two ex-lovers meet at a school reunion after 15 years in their mid-30s. Cleverly written blurb will make you think of your childhood crush or your college flame. Is it is the story of ex-lovers? Well, yes and no.
The story begins as the blurb promises at a college reunion when Stella and George meet after 15 years. She is a successful but aloof businesswoman. He is a successful and much married advertising genius and charity fundraiser. He makes the first move and they have an affair made of dreams. And he presents her everything under the sun to woo her and she plays along. And he divorces his wife and they get married – and this is just the beginning of the real story.
The story takes an unusual turn from here. Strange things start happening. As a reader, you wonder if this is his doing or her or is it a 3rd party playing games. Remember there is an ex-wife in the picture who remains rather harmless. Then, of course, there is a possibility of the house being haunted – for no one has lived there for a while. The drama keeps building up till you as the reader start joining the dots and figure out the plot.
The ending is too abrupt as if the author was left with 2 pages to close the story. I was also unhappy with the end, it did not justify my time spent on reading 500 pages.
The story is very well written, the narrative moves smoothly between the two protagonists. You get to hear both their sides one by one. The language is nice and rooted in the ambiance of the story – the world of business-minded successful people. The twists happen fast and at a steady pace. And the story goes back and forth a bit so you also move back and forth in time with the characters. In the end, you enjoy being introduced to a bit of psychology that makes you stop and think if you have seen this behavior in the people you know.
Characters are well etched out by Annabel Kantaria. By the time you reach 100 pages you pretty much know them like you know people around you. However, what is missing is that all the characters in the story are unlikeable. You do not feel for anyone or connect with anyone of them. You know both of them are manipulating as it happens probably in real life. And You know one of them is eviler than the other, but then more or less, we are not programmed to like the evil. In the end, you end up feeling for the ex-wife, if at all you feel for a character. This somehow takes away the emotional connect that we build with great stories and their characters. Having said that, it is the story of two characters who are the way they are.
All said the story is still entertaining and the book a page-turner. Some reviewers are comparing the story to that of Girl Gone. I have not read that book so for me the story was new.
You may buy this book The One Who Got Away by Annabel Kantaria from Amazon.
It’s a good read when you want to cut off from the world and soak yourself in an engaging story.