Felicia Yap


""Yap has created a fantastic alternative reality and storyline that demands your attention..." "


A world where classes are divided in memory status, Mono, who remember one day's worth of memory and Duo, who can remember two. In this restictive society, Claire and Mark are a rare mixed marriage. Clare, a devoted Mono housewife and Mark, a confident duo novelist-cum-hopeful politician. They are a future vision of equality and the changing acceptance of mono and duo's, aren't they?

This is all until a woman is found dead, dumped in the river close to their house. A woman who it transpires is no stranger to Mark, so much so that he becomes the prime suspect in the investigation. Secrets are hidden but they are always revealed, but how can you learn the truth when in a matter of a day or two your memory is gone?

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'Yesterday' is written from four perspectives, Claire, Mark, Sophia and Hans, a mixture of characters with varying memory storing abilities. Each characters' perspectives offer up an alternative viewpoint to the world they live in. By being able to read from the all of these characters viewpoints, we gain somewhat an understanding of the reality of this world and what the different memory classes have to endure, as well as a clearer picture of the events that take place in this novel. I enjoyed Yap's representation of the characters, she built up their profiles and expressed what being in these separate classes means for them and their lives, as well as what society says they are capable of. She also shows these characters need to break out of convention and stereotype, but with these the need for secrets as well. There are many secrets within this novel, kept by all characters in order to survive; we witness the characters ability to get round the rigid structure of their memory and what society has put in place for them. The storyline draws up a lot of unanswered questions and assumptions made, as the characters try to piece together aspects of their lives. We, as the reader, are made to feel exactly what the characters have to go through with only having the ability to remember so much. The story unveils secret memories on the path to solve the murder mystery; you get a sense of the urgency to work on this case with the looming deadline of your memory and the witness's memory dissolving. Yap has created a fantastic alternative reality and storyline that demands your attention, what with limiting time on memory. I very much enjoyed the extra dimension to this crime novel and rushed through to finish it, to find out 'whodunit'.

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