Book Review – Naked Beneath the Midnight Sun (Olympia, UK) Kamalini Natesan

Naked beneath the Midnight Sun is a Gen Z coming off age pop fiction of Suchu who moves to Norway to pursue higher education in a folk high school in Scandinavia, Norway. The story of Suchareeta speaks of her relationship with her parents, her time adjusting to the new country, her delight in the new culture and finally, finding love.

With the younger generation now moving to different countries, the story will resonate with many. The book also dwells upon a difficult parent – child relationship in Indian families where Suchu and her parents have not been openly communicative for long but their bond grows as distances increase. This is a very common scenario in most families which needs to change for our children to open up to us and heal from childhood scars, if any. Suchu is able to communicate far more openly with her parents via the medium of letters, allowing the relationship to evolve as both parties become more accepting of their differences. It also talks about the complications of modern marriages and the effect it might have on the psychological make-up of a child.

As Suchu discovers this new country, its traditions, and its bland foods, she develops a far deeper understanding of herself in the process.

The novel revolves around how Suchareeta overcomes difficult situations and how gradually, as her confidence grows and she is able to see herself as a unique individual with a strong personality.  At a point in the story, Natesan talks about the subconscious biases we have about our own people and how one can be betrayed by it when she is molested by a group of Indian men she blindly trusts.

What happens next? Does she come back to India? Does she fly to newer horizons?

Overall a pacey delightful read which will make us all reminisce our good old college days.

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