Blog tour and Book Giveaway
Before the Rains – Dinah Jefferies
It would be hard to find a more richly descriptive and lavishly depicted book than Before the Rains. Every page bursts with opulent, evocative imagery, colour and vibrancy, including the beautiful cover and it is astonishingly, heart-warmingly, romantic.
Dinah Jefferies is rapidly becoming my go-to author for vivid, plausible escapism. With her words she paints stunning exotic landscapes of epic proportions, which immerse the reader in past cultures, gently educating us about historic events, breaking our hearts a little, before wrapping us in the warmth of a passionate relationship.
In Before the Rains, I was transported to India in the 1930s in the final days of the crumbling British Raj and instantly immersed in the spice laden, colourful, Indian culture, where I met Eliza, a recently widowed British woman of 28.
Wanting to carve out her name as a photographer she accepts a position, through the British Government, to work in a palace as official Royal photographer, a rare and cherished opportunity for a British woman at this time.
Having lived in India as a small child, until the sudden and brutal death of her beloved father Eliza speaks a little of the language and is familiar with many local customs. However it is only after she witnesses the barbaric treatment of a young widow, that she fully appreciates how vital it is to conceal her own state of widowhood for her own safety.
Upon her arrival at the Royal palace she is surprised to discover that she will be living within the palace walls and under constant observation. The culture clashes she experiences make it difficult for her to know who she can fully trust as although she is warmly welcomed by some members of the Royal family she is seen as an interloper by others.
There is an instant affinity between herself and Prince Jay who is easy for her to relate to, having had a very British upbringing due to his education in the UK and she soon feels she’s found a friend. But despite a growing attraction between the young couple it’s clear that a closer relationship must be avoided. A Royal must marry another royal in order to provide legitimate heirs and inter racial relationships are so taboo they can hardly be spoken of, as the secrecy behind the illegitimacy of a young woman called Indi, whom Eliza also tries to befriend, is testament to.
Eliza is in for a rocky ride and despite her determination to be an independent modern career woman things don’t always go smoothly. Close family friend Clifford always seems to have her very best interests at heart but maybe he has an ulterior motive? His pale, sweaty, flushed skin made my skin crawl and despite Eliza obviously viewing him with similar contempt she finds she needs to rely on his protection.
There are mysteries and subterfuge and underlying tensions which simmer away beneath the romantic exterior.
Jay is a handsome, smouldering, heart stopping hunk of a hero who captivated me yet remained an enigma by the glamour and mystery of his life.
I was completely and utterly engrossed in this opulent and vibrant tale of British Rule in India and forbidden love which is the absolute epitome of historical romance. Eliza’s story transported and enthralled me throughout.
Read more about the author and her other sensational books on her own web page
WIN A COPY
Now you too can experience Eliza’s India by winning your very own brand new hard back copy of this delightful book.
To be entered into my free prize draw for one of two copies of Before the Rains by Dinah Jefferies all you need to do is post a comment after this blog post telling me …. If you could time-travel back to 1930 and be anywhere in the world where would you go, and why? Or Tweet me @Beadyjan with your answer and the hash tag #BeforetheRains