My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It happens every day in London
The characters in this book develop quite well for such a short story, and they all have their different dilemmas.
I always find it interesting to look at people in train carraiges, airports, railway stations, shopping centres, and even in cars alongside me in traffic jams, and wonder about their lives. Where have they come from and where are they going to? What is going on in their lives? Are they agonising over some huge, personal life problem?
This is what Strangers is about. Here are all these complex characters, thrown together in a railway carriage on a local train that is London bound. None of them know what is going on in any of the others’ lives, and they may be surprised if they did. Appearances can be very deceptive.
Something else which made this book very interesting for me was the connection to the news and discussions that I hear on BBC Radio London 94.9 on my drive to and from work every day. The author does a great job of coupling the strands of her story to the harsh reality of everyday life in and around London. There is such diversity, which should be celebrated alongside the less discussed similarities across society.
I thought that there was room to extend the story to perhaps around a hundred pages, which would have allowed the characters to develop even more. However, I disagree with the negative criticisms about the ending. If you want to find out what happened next, you should tune in, even on the internet, to the London news. This story is bound to be featured, as it is a description of what is happening right now.
Well done Priya Basil. A very good, creative quick read.