Having been lucky enough to meet Felicia Yap at a book event, I was intrigued to read her debut novel Yesterday after it was dubbed ‘The thriller of the summer’ by the Observer.
Yesterday is published by Wildfire, an imprint of Headline, on 10th August 2017 and is available for pre-order here.
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?
My Review of Yesterday
When a woman’s body is found in the river, time is ticking to catch the killer, but memories can be lost too quickly.
I can honestly say I have never read anything quite like Yesterday. I’m somewhat stuck for words to express my reaction. Yesterday is one of the most stunning debuts I have ever read. I was completely captivated by every aspect of this utterly outstanding book and simply could not tear myself away from it.
The entire concept of mono people who can only remember one day and duos who can remember two is clever and fascinating of itself, but Felicia Yap writes so convincingly too with Facts as opposed to memory so that I found my thinking completely disturbed as I contemplated what it is that makes us who we are and how we fix memories in our minds. This isn’t just one of the most thrilling books I’ve read, it’s also one of the most intelligent and thought provoking. The themes behind the narrative resonate so thoroughly in today’s society with social and intellectual prejudice, mental health, our reliance on electronic devices to run our lives and our increasing obfuscation of reality and genuine emotion.
I loved the structure so that there are extracts from diaries, handbooks, papers and Mark’s novels that act as clues and enlightenment for the reader. Felicia Yap knows exactly when less is more so that she wields one perfectly attuned word where a lesser author would use several. Although there is little that is overtly explicit in terms of violence, for example, I genuinely read with eyes popping and jaw dropping, my heart thumping at times, because every element seemed so plausible.
The characterisation is sublime. I felt rather like a pinball as I lurched from one change of view about Mark in particular to another. Felicia Yap played with my emotions and views as I read so that by the time I’d finished my head was reeling.
I can honestly say that Yesterday is an astounding read. It is fresh, different and one of the best thrillers I have ever read. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
About Felicia Yap
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.