‘How do you solve a murder when you can only remember yesterday?’
Yesterday is the debut thriller from Felicia Yap.
Just published by Wildfire (Headline Publishing imprint), Yesterday is described as ‘a beautifully written psychological drama which taps into our innermost fears concerning identity, memory and love’. A novel with a very intriguing concept at it’s core, please do continue reading for my thoughts…
(I received an advance copy of Yesterday from the publisher but my thoughts and views are all unbiased and voluntary)
There are two types of people in the world. Those who can only remember yesterday, and those who can also recall the day before.
You have just one lifeline to the past: your diary. Each night, you write down the things that matter. Each morning, your diary tells you where you were, who you loved and what you did.
Today, the police are at your door. They say that the body of your husband’s mistress has been found in the River Cam. They think your husband killed her two days ago.
Can you trust the police? Can you trust your husband? Can you trust yourself?
The concept behind Yesterday is so up-to-date, where, as a race, we rely completely on technology to store our memories. With so many of us totally reliant on our smart phones to store all our personal information already, is it such a far-fetched notion?
Yesterday is set in modern day but in a very different world where a dystopian society exists.. As adult-hood is reached, memories become erased and all become fully dependent on iDiaries to record and store the details of their daily lives. In this world that Yesterday inhabits, there are two types of humans. Mono and Duo. Mono’s have a very short term memory of just 24 hours, whereas the more superior Duos have a 48 hour memory. Society has created sustainable methods to deal with this lifestyle, with the belief instilled that were we to store all our memories in our own brains, it would be too much for us to deal with.
I mean wow…..what a concept!!!
Yesterday tells the story of a murder.
A body is discovered in the river and it is that of Miss Sophia Ayling, mistress of bestselling author Mark Henry Evans.
This is where things get complicated. DCI Hans Richardson is immediately on the case, but with his own secrets to hide, he must resolve this case in 24 hours. Mark Henry Evans is a Duo so he has full recall of the previous 48 hours but his wife Claire is a Mono, making her more dependent on the written word committed to the iDiary.
Claire has always lived in the shadow of her husband, fully convinced that her life was less important somewhat. Always struggling with her confidence, Claire is on medication which helps her get through each day. Mark is often away on engagements with his fans and publisher etc, but now he his hoping to run for a position as a local MP. The discovery of a body in the vicinity of his home is not something he wishes to get involved with. The fact that it’s his mistress makes this a somewhat tangled web.
As a reader we are introduced to a whole plethora of new and very abstract ideas which do make you think about our over reliance on technology.
Yesterday is very much a race against time for many different individuals, as the clock slowly ticks down over a 24 hour period. There are various levels of truth concealed in many diaries and the reliability of these accounts is very questionable for the authorities involved.
Felicia Yap has written a novel that I think personally will make for an amazing movie but for me the book just didn’t grab me 100%. At times I found sections of the writing were more in keeping with a YA novel and I felt no empathy with any of the characters. The whole technology angle was inspiring which, in my very humble opinion, will cross over to the big screen wonderfully.
Is it a movie I would go & see? Most definitely YES.
Yesterday is a book that requires plenty of focus while you are reading, as the chapters move swiftly between each character’s story. I love this style to a novel as it makes for a page-turning read. I hate to say though that the ending just did not work for me, as I felt I had to suspend reality just a little too much.
Overall Yesterday is a good read, with an excellent concept at the core, but just not a great read for me….
I suspect I may be in the minority here so please do pick up a copy and let me know what you think…
Purchase Link ~ Yesterday
Felicia Yap grew up in Kuala Lumpur.
She read biochemistry at Imperial College London, before achieving a doctorate in history (and a half-blue in competitive ballroom dancing) at Cambridge University. She has written for The Economist and The Business Times.
She has also worked as a radioactive-cell biologist, a war historian, a Cambridge lecturer, a technology journalist, a theatre critic, a flea-market trader and a catwalk model.
Yesterday is her debut novel.
Twitter ~ @FeliciaMYap