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The Midnight Rose - Book Review

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by Janelle (subscribe)
I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Published November 18th 2017
Love Hurts
Book, adventure, history, romance, suspense
The 'Indian' cover

First published in 2013, The Midnight Rose is a story that crosses continents, culture, class and generations. It is a huge read at 669 pages but I did not want the story to end, I was left wanting to know what he future held. One is taken from glittering Indian palaces and the sumptuous life of maharajahs in 1911 to the royalty and vices of present-day Hollywood.

I enjoy the way that Lucinda Riley writes, her words evoke a sense of place and time and she has rich interesting characters. Themes of love, duty, racism, sexism and empowerment are woven into the storyline. The comparison of Indian arranged marriages with upper-class British marriages of convenience was thought-provoking and put a different spin on the whole concept of mistress/second wife. There were also some interesting comments on the practice of traditional healing techniques vs mainstream medicine.

Lucinda Riley discusses some interesting correlations between the book and her own family history in the following clip.

The Midnight Rose is a love story that spans 100 years yet it is also a mystery, tragedy and suspense. In alternating chapters, we are told the story of Anahita Chavan and her lifelong search for her infant son juxtaposed with the modern story of her great-grandson Ari and his search for the truth in an English stately home on the edge of Dartmoor.

The story develops slowly and Ari comes across as a selfish self-obsessed character but his grandmother 'sees' something within and entrusts him with a precious manuscript of her life that she has written to her long-lost son. Before long the reader is privy to the life of the privileged classes be they Indian royalty or English aristocrats. As more storylines intertwine and relationships develop, the pace of the story builds to an unexpected and emotional climax. I had difficulty putting the book down as I was anxious to discover the secrets within and I was truly moved by the epilogue.

Book, history, drama, romance, mystery
The 'English' cover

Enjoyment of books is very personal so rather than discuss the story in depth I have left it up to the individual to decide whether they want to go on this journey of 'a lifelong passion'.
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Why? To escape everyday life
When: Whenever you want
Where: In your imagination
Cost: Free from libraries or if you borrow a copy
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