Discover the secret of the girl in the painting today.
India, 1926: English Margaret arrives with her new husband Suraj at his family home, set amidst beautiful rolling hills, the air filled with the soft scent of spices and hibiscus flowers. Margaret is unwelcome, homesick and lonely, but her maid Archana, a young woman from an impoverished family, reminds her of her long-lost sister, a tiny glimpse of home in a faraway place.
As Margaret and Archana spend more time together, an unexpected friendship blooms. But in British India the divide between rich and poor, English and Indian, is wide, and the clash between Margaret’s modern views and the weight of tradition on Archana will lead to devastating results…
England, 2000: When Emma’s grandmother gives her a mysterious painting, and asks her to take a message of forgiveness to an old friend in India, Emma is relieved to have some time and space to make a decision about her future. But as she fulfils her grandmother’s wish, a secret kept for over seventy years is finally revealed – the story of a day spent painting by a stream full of water lilies, where a betrayal tore three lives apart forever…
My first book by this author and I was curious as I always am when I ‘meet’ a new writer.
There are two kinds of historical books : the ones where the story takes place in the past completely and the ones where the author connects the past with the present. The former category is a genre I do not often read, but the latter category is one that piques my interest.
After reading the blurb, I already felt I was going to be swept away. Was my feeling right? I can say a big YES without a doubt!
India is a country I don’t know a lot about and the author took me on a journey and gave me an insight. I was fascinated by the life of the people there. I love the characters she created and spun a beautiful story around them.
My heart went out to them, but between the sadness and heartache there was room for a lot of heartwarming moments as well.
What I also thought was very special and was something I did not see often yet, was the fact that the author linked colours with feelings. It gave the descriptions an extra touch.
I enjoyed the book and even though it contains 500 pages, I flew through it. It felt like taking a trip on a TGV : fluent and very entertaining. 5 stars.
Thank you, Renita D’Silva, Bookouture and Netgalley.
About the author
Renita D’Silva loves stories, both reading and creating them. Her short stories have been published in ‘The View from Here’, ‘Bartleby Snopes’, ‘this zine’, ‘Platinum Page’, ‘Paragraph Planet’ among others and have been nominated for the ‘Pushcart’ prize and the ‘Best of the Net’ anthology. She is the author of ‘Monsoon Memories’,’The Forgotten Daughter’, ‘The Stolen Girl’, ‘A Sister’s Promise’, ‘A Mother’s Secret’, ‘A Daughter’s Courage’, ‘Beneath An Indian Sky’.
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