romance / adventure:
The Enemy Within, by Nalini Warriar, grabbed me very early on and captured my interest through to the end.
The early story, of Sita, a young girl, growing up in rural India, with her whole life and all the opportunities that entailed, ahead of her, was captivating. The vivid descriptions of the sights, sounds, and smells of India brought me there and keep me intrigued. All of Sita's dreams and hopes for the future are tempered by the knowledge that her parents, will in all likelihood chose a husband for her and she will have to adapt to the traditional life of a Hindu bride.
When Anup, an engineer, living in Quebec, Canada is chosen as a good match for Sita, her fate is sealed. She leaves her home, with Anup for an exciting new life in Canada, determined to fall in love with this strange man who is now her husband. Despite all her efforts, Anup wants her for only her ability to look after him and satisfy his sexual needs.
Alone, in a strange. new environment, Sita must learn to cope and flourish in this new world. She makes sure that she does and studies to achieve her Doctorate in Cell Biology. Despite all her academic and motherly success, Sita still finds herself achingly lonely and just longing for someone to love her, the way she wants to love.
This is an intensely heart-warming and achingly sad story that is beautifully related by the author. As a reader, we can feel and ultimately empathise with Sita and her pain. I loved the writer's beautifully, descriptive prose and her ability to highlight the many dangers and pitfalls of someone from a different culture trying desperately to fit into her adopted society.
A wonderful read and definitely well worth the five stars I have given it. I think this was Warriar's debut novel and suspect it was semi-autobiographical. I am now keen to see what else she has written and look forward to choosing more books by this talented author. Excellent job.
Regular readers of my reviews will be well aware that I am a big fan of Mary Crawford's books with their intertwined and interrelated characters, despite me clearly not being in her intended demographic. It will come as no surprise, therefore, that I loved her latest book, Tough (A Hidden Hearts Novel Book 5)
In Tough, Crawford has continued her exploration of characters who have experienced difficult pasts and great emotional distress, prior to finding happiness, or characters who are physically disadvantaged in some way. In Tough, however, Crawford has pushed the envelope of her character's emotional angst, further than she has previously and the result is a triumph, in my opinion.
We meet Savannah and Casey, who both have pasts they are not proud of. Savannah, separated from her sister by the authorities, after they were abandoned by their parents has suffered immense emotional, physical and sexual abuse in her life. She just wants to put the horror of the past behind her, but when she meets Casey, the restaurant owner who has his own past demons of life on the streets and drug abuse, she finally meets a kindred spirit.
Although Crawford has delved deeper into the pits of depravity, than she has in her earlier books, she does it with care, concern, and respect for the victim. Reading Tough it is incredibly easy to identify with the pain and angst, both Savannah and Casey experienced. As an inspiration to others who are experiencing this type of pain and abuse, I think it really does hit the mark and I feel Crawford is to be congratulated for this.
As an author, she has entered a new realm, in some respects, with these wonderful series of novels and I cannot wait to see where her enquiring mind will take us next. Excellent job and worth every one of the five stars I have awarded it.
Alex Graham may have ended up in 17th Century Maryland by a quirk of time, but she has made her home there with her husband Matthew, their ten children and innumerable grandchildren. There is Always a Tomorrow by Anna Belfrage is the ninth book in the Graham Saga, which follows Alex after her journey back through time and her life in the 1600’s. The Graham’s farm an area in Maryland, which was once a Catholic stronghold, but has now been taken over by the puritanical Presbyterians who are rabidly anti Papist. Against this backdrop we also travel to England, where two of the Graham children are living and being looked after by Matthew’s brother. Also we follow Samuel, another Graham child who has been adopted by the local Indian tribe. The Graham’s close friend, a Catholic Priest, Carlos Munoz has been betrayed to the authorities by one of their own sons and the hunt is on to catch and deal with the one-legged priest.
Although There is Always a Tomorrow is the ninth book in this series, there is no need to have read the earlier books to enjoy this one. It stands alone as a self-contained story. I found Anna Belfrage’s characters to be well created and to each have a respective place within the story. My only problem was the sheer number of characters, with the children, grandchildren and sundry relatives often making me pause and say, “now who is that?”. Without being an expert on the period under writing, I felt the setting was authentic and the research done by the author comprehensive in understanding the locale, the feeling of the population and the general ambience of 17th Century Colonial America. I haven’t read any of Belfrage’s work before, but this was easy to read and exciting enough to keep me fully engaged throughout. I have little doubt I will read more of this author in the future.
...and the winner is!
I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful Indie authors whose books I've had the privilege to read and review over this past year and also to my dedicated readers who follow this blog and this website.
May you all have a wonderful holiday season, celebrating it in the way most appropriate to your beliefs and my hope for 2018 for everyone is peace, understanding and most of all love. Love is what runs this world.
EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITIES LIFE PRESENTS TO YOU AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
HAVE A GREAT LIFE AND SPREAD THE LOVE!
CHANGING THE WORLD – ONE READER AT A TIME