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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Decades is a romantic novella for young and new adults written by Sylvie. The story is based on her own life as a young girl growing up in Bangladesh. Sylvie is happily married with a husband who adores her and treats her like a princess, and she’s so proud of and thrilled by her children, but she still remembers oh, so clearly her first romance. As she puts it in her opening sentence: “To me, a first love is like rain on (a) sunny day followed by a gorgeous rainbow.” She was thirteen years old when Sylvie first became aware of her admirer. They had been playing badminton, and this lovely boy was trouncing her friend, which made Sylvie automatically dislike him, but she couldn’t help admiring his long, silky hair and handsome features. Sylvie’s mom was a widow, as her father had been killed in the Bangladesh Pakistan War, and Sylvie was her baby. Her mother was willing to do just about anything to keep Sylvie and Gora apart. But even now, decades later, the memory of their brief and intense time together still warms Sylvie’s heart and soul.
In her romantic novella for young and new adults, The Decades, Sylvie shares what it was like growing up in Bangladesh in the latter part of the twentieth century. I was saddened to hear of the way she was treated by her mother, especially considering the innocent nature of her relationship with Gora, and loved learning about her studies and eventual marriage to Nasir. The Decades is a well-written and compelling historical account of living in a different culture and at a different time, and the simple yet elegant way in which the author describes that life is quite illuminating. I especially enjoyed reading her poetry which appears at the beginning and throughout the work. Her poems are lean, translucent and magical: “This is the time,/For lovers/Go lovers go/Enjoy the moon light./The nature will be/With you.” The Decades is most highly recommended.