I was a beta reader for this book and I studied with Sathish
Life in the Sunshine, the debut novel by T. Sathish, is an excellent coming of age story. The story follows Sathish & his friends from the times they spend in school to college (and beyond) and how their passion for cricket has influenced and changed their lives. Sathish deftly uses cricket as both the background of the story as well as a metaphor for life itself. It is quite an intimate look into the author’s life and this makes the story enjoyable and the characters relatable.
Now, I am not sure how much of this was fiction and otherwise, but I am sure quite a good chunk of it would have been autobiographical since the various incidents and anecdotes as well as the emotions that come through give it a feeling of authenticity. I was reminded of Malgudi Days when I read Life in the Sunshine, especially in the fist half with all the shenanigans as well as the description of the day to day life of kids growing in a Chennai tambram family.
In addition, Sathish is obsessed with cricket, and this passion comes through whenever he talks about cricket in his story (which is a lot). But, ultimately, it is not just cricket that holds the various threads of the story together, but the characters in the book and. They are lifelike and make you care about what happens to them.
As an aside, I wish I had known this about Sathish when I first met him in our post-grad because I would have ribbed him mercilessly coming and going.
In conclusion, Life in the Sunshine is an excellent book. It is must read if you are a child who grew up with Doordarshan, or like cricket or just enjoy a good Indian coming of age story.