Book Review: Seven Sundays by Shouvik Banerjee

Book Name: Seven Sundays

Author: Shouvik Banerjee

Pubisher: Hay House

Genre: Self-help/Fiction

Rating: 4.6/5

Book Blurb: Sometimes it takes falling apart before falling into place Seven Sundays chronicles the story of 40-year-old Alok, who, despite all his efforts, finds himself in the worst scenario possible—his business venture fails, his wife and daughter leave him, and, on top of everything, he is under a mountain of debt. But just when it seemed like all is lost, an old acquaintance makes a return to his life and sets in motion a profound change. Written in an unconventional format of a fable within a narrative, the book takes an explorative journey into the nature of failure and why we need to identify and embrace it. Featuring a host of intriguing characters that include the Magician, Wizard, and Maiden, Seven Sundays is one of those books that are as intriguing as they are enchanting and will stay with you for a long, long time.

Review: Seven Sundays was a surprisingly good read. Over the years, I have developed this habit of judging a book by its cover, and usually, I am right. I did not like the cover of Seven Sundays but the book is surprisingly good.

Seven Sundays is told through a fable interspersed with the struggles of the protagonist, Alok Roy.

It is by embracing the failures that we may chance upon a new beginning. At the lowest ebb of his life, Alok’s life undergoes a mammoth change after the arrival of an unlikely mentor who recounts a fable over seven Sundays- hence, the title.

Alok has failed at everything, his business ventures keep failing and we are told at the beginning of the book that even his wife Sheela has left him and keeps him away from his daughter. The story may sound morbid but Seven Sundays is full of surprises.

“Whether it was my career, business, relationships, or family, I had become and expert at failing in all of them.”

It is tough to place this book in any one strict category/genre. Seven Sundays is about so many things, a fable hiding inside the story of a man’s personal and professional struggles- this scheme of a story within a story is tough to execute but Shouvik has managed to do it. This alone shows that the author has mettle.

It is a positive story. It requires immense courage to build one’s life back but Alok manages to do that. If you are someone who is experiencing a lot of hardships in the personal or professional space, this book may prove to be the vitamin pill that can really lift your spirits. Its a pleasant surprise to find so much wisdom and experience in a book by a relatively new author.

Seven Sundays can provide many lessons to people in the corporate field, startup guys whose startups fail to start and there’s something here for everyone.

“A goal is like the top floor of a building and to reach it you must climb the stairs. Each stair represents a smaller goal, a sub-part of the things you want to achieve. But if you make the stairs your goal then you’ll end up thinking that that is the limit of your achievements.”

It would have been better if the relationship struggle between Alok and his wife Sheela had been explored more- as every professional downside (and failure) invariably takes a toll on a person’s personal relationships too.

Shouvik writes well, considering this is his first book. It looks heavily edited but even Jeffrey Archer is heavily edited. His voice falters sometimes, but he recovers each time and in the end, you will end up liking this book. There are a few proofreading errors also in this book but that can be corrected in future editions.

All struggles are painful but can be overcome. This is the core message which Seven Sundays delivers and it does so in a beautiful manner.

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