Yesterday, by Sam Yann is a tale of romance that dates back to past lifetimes. Amanda Parker, a keen lover of history and antiquities, winds up in hospital after saving a policeman’s (Mark Callahan) life during a train crash. From this point on, the pair are drawn to one-another and begin to seek answers to the overwhelming sense of familiarity that binds them.
I found Amanda’s character to be timid and quiet, never grasping what she wants with both hands, whereas Mark Callahan’s character appeared almost roguish, so certain of himself and his decisions. The pair’s slowly blossoming relationship shows a stark contrast in their personalities that works for them, as though Amanda is the yin to Mark’s yang.
I loved the change in time periods, from modern day back to South Carolina in the mid to late 1800s. Author Sam Yann has dug deep with their research. I found myself learning a lot about South Carolina in the 1800s as much of this story is based upon historical fact. Such facts are the inclusion of St. Michael’s chimes, St. Michael’s church, and Daniel Burnham (who the character of Daniel in the book is based off of: 1846 – 1912,) among various others.
Yann possesses a unique grasp of language which helps to create vivid images in the reader’s mind. Mystery lurked in every page of this book as the romance between Amanda and Mark continues to build. I looked forward to each glimpse of the pair’s past lives, wondering who their former selves would appear as.
Bonnie (Amanda’s past self) and Daniel (Mark’s past self) seem to find each-other in every life, with Bonnie’s sweet and timid nature comparable to Amanda’s own, and Daniel’s roguish charm and self-assuredness mimicking Mark’s own traits in the modern day. It just goes to show that our souls rarely change and still seek out their true mate in each life. The very notion of this is incredibly romantic in my view.
I had but one dislike when it came to this novel. Though I loved every moment, I felt as though the middle of the book could have done with being faster-paced in places, but that is only a matter of opinion and another read may feel differently.
Yesterday possesses a light-hearted tone when being read, with occasional moments of tension that build up at just the right times, for maximum dramatic and emotional effect. The author’s style blew me away. With just the right amount of description, they were able to plunge me back into a time I have never experienced personally. Since reading Yesterday, I feel as though I’ve briefly stepped into South Carolina in the late 1800s as Yann’s summary of the time and place seemed so vivid to me.
The sense of love and selflessness I got from this remarkable book had me floating on air (figuratively speaking) for several days. A truly gripping and romantic read that will toy with your every emotion. I think this book would appeal most to lovers of historical-romances, dramas, and light sci-fi.
Rated 5 stars.