About the book: England, 1857
The British aristocracy is an inflexible judge. And for Amala, a lovely young Indian woman, that judgment is most keenly felt. Raised from a child by the wealthy Hepworth family following the murder of her parents, Amala grew up alongside the Hepworth's own daughter, Katarina, and was loved as both sister and daughter. The family is part of the charmed circle of the upper class, but Amala's place in society is tenuous. As an Indian woman, her life is marked by a sense of otherness and voices of prejudice. So when she embarks upon a sweet acquaintance with Henry Breckenridge, a white Englishman, Amala is both elated and terrified. She knows first-hand the opposition that an interracial couple would face, and courtship with Henry could destroy his standing in society.
Determined to spare the reputations of both Henry and her sister Katarina, Amala flees England with the hope that an extended trip will allow her time to heal her broken heart. But she never imagined the repercussions of that decision, and the heartbreak awaiting her. For when she returns to England, she finds those she holds dear facing unparalleled devastation. And now it is her love that holds the key to healing a broken family ...
My review: I enjoyed reading this novel. I have never really thought about it before, but it makes sense that there would have been prejudice against people that didn't look the same in places other than here in America. And it made tons of sense to me that there was especially against the people of India in England during this time period.
I loved Amala in this one. She's a young Indian woman trying to live in the harsh, judgmental climate of England. She's always been a bit of an outcast (I was shocked by the way she was treated by the preacher of their church) and knows that she will never be able to marry and have the "ideal" British life for her family, especially her children. I liked the way she was practical about things, but at some points she almost seems like a bit of a martyr about it. I did love how unselfish she is, she goes away for awhile so that her sister can meet someone that she will be able to marry.
I really liked her whole family dynamics. Amala lives in England with her "Mother" and "Father", Oliver and Viola and her "sister" Katarina. I loved the way that this family cares for each other and don't really care what others think of their family, even to the point that those who don't approve know that they are not going to be welcome in their home. I loved the way that Amala has a confident in one of the servants, Everett, and the way he cares for her almost like a father as well. There are an awful lot of great characters in this one!
I loved the way that she meets Henry at a ball. It's one of those affairs where Amala knows she's going to be spending almost the whole time sitting on the sidelines watching someone else dance. Henry has just returned from India himself, and he is thrilled to get to talk to her. I loved the way that he dances with her and then follows her around trying to get to know her and talk to her all about what he experienced in India. And then he goes to her home to talk to her whole family about it.
I thought that the characters were really well done and interesting. I really would have liked to have known what Katarina thought both about India and about Amala's eventual romance.
I loved the whole plot and feel of this one. I liked the way that Amala and Henry have this secret romance, but all of her hang ups about marriage and the English way of thinking really doom it from the very start. I thought that the ups and downs to the ending were really well written and interesting. And the ending itself...was a satisfying conclusion to the book.
This is a great book, I enjoyed reading it!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the author: Anita Stansfield began writing at the age of sixteen, and her first novel was published sixteen years later. Her novels range from historical to contemporary and cover a wide gamut of social and emotional issues that explore the human experience through memorable characters and unpredictable plots. She has received many awards, including a special award for pioneering new ground in LDS fiction, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Whitney Academy for LDS Literature. Anita is the mother of five, and has two adorable grandsons. Her husband, Vince, is her greatest hero.
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Labels: anita stansfield, Clean Romance, Covenant Communications