East of the sun is more than a song


East of the sunI have managed, this month, to get a historical fiction book read well before the month is over.  I was slack last month and only read one historical fiction book during the month.  I aim to do better this month for my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.

The book East of the Sun certainly fits into the historical fiction category.  You can see by the women’s fashions on the book cover that it is not a modern day novel.

From the book cover:

Autumn 1928,  The Kaisar-i-Hind is en route to Bombay.  In Cabin D38, Viva Holloway, an inexperienced chaperone, is worried she’s made a terrible mistake.  Her advert in The Lady has resulted in three unsettling charges to be escorted to India.

Rose, a beautiful, dangerously naive English girl, is about to be married to the cavalry officer she has met only a handful of times.  Victoria, her bridesmaid, is determined to lose her virginity on the journey before finding a husbnd of her own in India.  And overshadowing all theree of them, the malevolent presence of Guy Glover, a strange and disturbed schoolboy.

Three potential Memsahibs with a myriad of reasons for leaving England but the cargo of hopes and secrets they carry has done little to prepare them for what lies ahead.

I really enjoyed this book as it was wide ranging in the settings from London in the early part of the novel, to on board the Kaisar, to Bombay, both the wealthy and the poor aspects, and to the cooler setting in the hills of India.

The book reminded me of my father as he used to say, “When I was in Poona.” and Poona is one of the settings in the novel.  My dad had been in the Air Force and had spent time in India.

There are some short reviews of the book on Jula Gregson’s website if you want to get a quick idea of what others think of the book.  For me it was enjoyable, both the romantic aspect of the novel and the historical settings.

East of the Sun won Le Prince Maurice Prize for Romantic Literature in 2010.

And here is the song.

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