Chasing the Sun is the story of a young travelpreneur attending her best friend’s wedding in Australia. It is a sequel to the earlier book by Katy Colins ‘Destination Chile‘. Kay Colins is a travel blogger who has taken the route of fictionalizing her own travel tales into best-selling books.
In Chasing the Sun, Katy starts with a flight to Australia to attend her best friend’s wedding who is marrying her boyfriend’s best friend. The trip starts with a road trip with the bride and her two bridesmaids driving across Australia. It obviously takes you through some of the landmarks of Australia like 12 Apostles amidst all the bridal banter.
The protagonists of the story try to re-live their backpacking days by staying at backpacker hostels. They, however, discover that the hostel environments have changed and reached a point of no return. Mobile phones and tablets have changed the lively hostels into silent zones. Guests hardly interact with each other. As everyone is busy with their own gadgets trying to interact with the rest of the world. Most of us who travel have experienced this change. We miss the conversations on the road or in the shared public spaces.
The story of the bride as she struggles to get everything perfect for her wedding made me pity her. I wonder if girls do get so anxious about making it a picture perfect wedding that they forget to enjoy the biggest transition in their lives. Financial constraints make them go to any extent to leverage a sale even if it means sleeping on the road. The pressure is so much that big lies do not seem to matter. The wedding Apps and Magazines add to the pressure by publishing lists that tell you your wedding is doomed if you do not do these things. How you, wish younger people could foresee that no one is bothered about anyone else? And the perfection of wedding day does not lead to a perfect marriage.
There is a parallel story of the protagonist telling the story – she feels used at times, irritated at times, responsible at times. And finally, she discovers it all as a blessing. It is a story of friendship when you support your friend even if you do not agree with them. It is a story of someone who is managing a business, has doubts about her relationship having once failed to walk down the aisle & a story of self-discovery.
What I liked about ‘Chasing the Sun’ is it’s easy to relate to language and characters. Each character would fit in someone you know, they are real with all their flaws and they are normal people like you and me. I also like the happy endings. So this story wins on that front as well. All through the story something or the other goes wrong. But in the end, it all works out the way it should. It is the story of new age girls who are as independent as they can get. But they still want to live the traditional dreams.
Chasing The Sun is the kind of chic-lit that introduces you to a new place. And re-introduces you to your emotions from younger self. It is one of those breezy reads that allow you to disconnect from your life issues and problems for a while. It also brings out the relationship between two friends that is never without envy, jealousy, one man up ship. And it brings out the fact that there are things about our partners that we do not know despite living with them. The only place where I got little bored was when there was an elongated lecture on motherhood and how it changes a woman. Maybe I did not relate to it but I think it just went a little overboard.
Overall, it is an easy read, perfect for a lazy weekend.