Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Book Review: BEFORE THE RAINS BY DINAH JEFFERIES





Published by Penguin on the 23rd February 2017


1930, Rajputana, India. 

Since her husband's death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza's only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she's determined to make a name for herself.
But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince's handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families - and society - think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what's expected, or following their hearts. . .

The lush, vibrant colours of India are vividly brought to life in this tale of romance, lies and deception amid the opulent castle of the Maharajah of Rajputana.

Eliza loves to takes pictures .... 'she loved the way a photo could tell an entire story and preserve it in a single moment' ..... and she is both pleased and surprised at being asked to take pictures and have the run of the castle ..... but not everyone is happy to have a British lady around, for there are a number of people who hated the British and Eliza needed to be careful she didn't make too many enemies.


British educated Prince Jayant had a sort of wildness about him, and Eliza thinks he's arrogant and spoilt and he's intrigued by her.  He loved showing her round the castle and around the beautiful Indian country.


Author Dinah Jefferies paints a wonderful picture of Indian life, of the camel sales, puppeteers, markets, and the many unusual wild birds and animals.  I could smell the aromatic herbs, jasmine, honeysuckle and roses growing all around. And of course of the people who Eliza loved to photograph were described in intimate detail.


A very enjoyable story, beautifully told, and so very atmospheric.


My thanks to Josie Murdoch at Penguin for giving me the opportunity to read this lovely novel.


Meet the Author



Dinah Jefferies was born in Malaysia and moved to England at the age of nine. Her idyllic childhood always held a special place in her imagination, and when she began writing novels in her 60s, she was able to return there – first in her fiction and then on annual research trips for each new novel. Dinah Jefferies is the author of four novels, The Separation, The Tea Planter’s Wife – a Number One Sunday Times bestseller, The Silk Merchant’s Daughter and Before the Rains. She lives in Gloucestershire.

You can connect with Dinah at her website -  Twitter  -  Facebook


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