Monday, June 26, 2017

Review: The Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley

Title: The Midnight Rose
Author: Lucinda Riley 
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: March 2014
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-year-old Anahita, from a noble but impoverished family, forms a lifelong friendship with the headstrong Princess Indira, the privileged daughter of Indian royalty. As the princess's official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of World War I. There, she meets young Donald Astbury—reluctant heir to the magnificent, remote Astbury Estate—and his scheming mother.

Ninety years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. But when her turbulent relationship with her equally famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn, she's relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to a distant corner of the English countryside. Shortly after filming begins at the now-crumbling Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita's great-grandson, arrives unexpectedly, on a quest for his family's past. What he and Rebecca discover begins to unravel the dark secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty . . ."

My Two Cents:

"The Midnight Rose" is the story of Anahita, a young girl who has the fortune of being taken in under the wing of Princess Indira, a daughter of Indian royalty. Even thought Anahita is not a princess, she goes where the Princess goes, which means her life is open to many more possibilities than other girls of her time and social stature. Almost 100 years later, film star Rebecca is filming in an old English manor. The residents of the manor seem to be hiding a secret that Rebecca will unravel before she leaves. Told in two different times, this book is filled with twists, turns, and family secrets.

Historical fiction books set in two times are often a mixed bag for me. Typically, I end up liking the story set in the past but not the one set in the present because so much of the present story falls back on the past story and would seem rather flat without it. This book is definitely not that way. The present story still has a lot of twists and turns that have very little to do with the story set in the past. This made the present day story feel much more exciting to me. It also made the story feel more balanced.

The book is set between India and England, two places that I love to read about. The author gives really good descriptions of both places - this is the kind of book that you get lost in. I especially loved the description of Anahita growing up in India. There are so many good descriptions of the court and what it was like to live at court. Anahita follows the princess to school in England and I loved the descriptions of how different both of them find England and how both of them deal with the differences. In the present day, the descriptions of the manor and the secret that it hides are fantastic. Anahita has a love affair with an English gentleman in the past story that will drive the mystery at hand in the present day story.

This book kept me on my toes and I love the way the author was able to bring everything together in a nice, neat way by the end of the book. This is a solid choice for historical fiction lovers!



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