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The India Fan

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  2,854 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Drusilla Delaney, the daughter of an impoverished minister, becomes fascinated with the wealthy Framling family--especially with the son and daughter, the mysterious Fabian, and the beautiful, impetuous Lavinia. Through them, she finds herself the unlikely heir to an extraordinary bejeweled fan made of peacock feathers. But though priceless and dazzling to behold, the fan ...more
Mass Market Paperback, Reprint of 0449216977, 396 pages
Published September 1989 by Fawcett Crest (first published 1988)
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Nandakishore Varma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Edited 1 April 2013

I wrote a second review for All About Romance and rated this a Desert Isle Keeper.

4.5 stars

I read a lot of novels by Victoria Holt when I was in my twenties, so when I saw that Sourcebooks was reissuing The India Fan, I was eager to discover how it would hold up twenty-five years after its original publication.

I am extremely happy to report that the answer is “very well indeed”.

This isn’t one of the titles I’d already read, so all I had to go on was the synopsis, although I a
The Lit Bitch
I loved Drusilla as the heroine in this novel. She is a modernized Jane Eyre, the poor plain country lass seducing the dark and mysterious lord of the manor. She was intelligent and never careless like Lavinia. She always did what was sensible and I admired her greatly for that. She was strong but at the same time vulnerable. The audience really grows up with her throughout the novel and though there aren’t drastic changes to her character, she is solid and continues to grow into herself though ...more
Regan Walker
Sweeping Victorian Tale of Adventure and Love in England, France and India

Originally published in 1988, this is the story of Drusilla Delaney, daughter of a rector living in England in the mid 19th century. Near Drusilla’s home was the elaborate Framling estate, or as she thought of it, “the big house.” The Framlings were an old wealthy family tied to the East India Company and they were to be significant in Drusilla’s life.

We meet Drusilla as a young girl when she is taken to the big house to
Although somewhat rambling and a bit longer than a bit longer than I thought it should be, I gave this five stars as it is on the whole an excellent read. Druscilla Delany is the daughter of the rector. Nearby is Framling, a house of nobility which of course has two spoiled children. Druscilla is elected to be companion to the younger child Lavinia with whom she goes away to boarding school first in England and then in France. For all her beauty, Lavinia is remarkably empty headed and constantly ...more
Rebecca Huston
A vicar's daughter, Drusilla, is swept off to India when the local aristocratic family takes interest in her. Unfortunately, the Great Mutiny is about to happen. This romantic suspense novel is set in the 1850's, and is full of the usual tropes -- milksop heroine, nasty bitchy friend, sarcastic hero. Unfortunately, the reader is kept at arm's reach throughout this one, the heroine not much more than a very passive observer. There's not a lot of character development, the Indians are portrayed in ...more
My mother and I used to read these and Mary Stewart's books. This was a reread, but a very enjoyable one with great memories!
Katie Watkins
I started reading this on a digital loan from the library and it suddenly went back--without warning!! I had to get a paperback copy to finish it. :) I'm glad I did. I read this years ago, late HS or early college and enjoyed it then too.

Drusilla Delany is a pastor's daughter and lives near a very wealthy, controlling family, in England. The Framlings rule the land, so it seems. When the lady of the house determines that Drusilla is a suitable enough companion for her wild, tigress daughter, Lav
I stayed up all night on a Sunday to finish this book and when it ended I laid in bed for another hour just thinking, and feeling, and recapping in my head all that I'd taken in over the last two days. I was haunted by the ebb and flow of this story, the characters, and the ending.

This is my first Victoria Holt novel, but from what I understand this is how one typically feels at the end. This story was long and detailed, it was a slow burn with potential that was obvious by the end of the fist c
May 20, 2011 Melissa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melissa by: Deann
Shelves: clean-romances
This was my first Victoria Holt novel. There were things I liked and things I disliked about the book. I really liked the main characters. They were vividly described and stayed true to who they were throughout the book. The story had places it caught hold of me and flew and was so interesting. I learned about a time period I didn't have much knowledge of before. I did like the whole idea of the story and was happy with the ending. But oh my gosh it took forever to get there. There was a lot tha ...more
An enthralling read set partially in India at the time when the British Empire's control there became particularly tenuous. This had all the elements of a good story - a slow-burning romance between the sensible, "plain Jane" Drusilla and the dashing yet arrogantly domineering, wealthy aristocrat, Fabian. There was also a plethora of well-presented peripheral characters from the self-centred, entitled Lavinia to the unsatisfactory alternative suitor in Dougal, the demanding matriarch and the sen ...more
Drusilla’s life has been somewhat governed by the Framling family, especially by young Fabian who considered her his toy for a brief time in their childhood and his sister Lavinia, a spoiled beauty who finds Drusilla a perfect friend and accomplice…

This is a great romance novel (especially for a huge VH fan like me), sweeping the reader from England to France, and India with its exotic environment, sometimes frightening customs, and historical struggle to rid itself of the British occupation. Co
This taught me, if nothing else, the etymology of the word "thug."

2.5 stars. I was hoping for a gothic romance (haunted mansion, family secrets, maybe a moor or howling wind or secret passageway to dungeons) but this is more a historical coming of age novel with an extremely dry and passionless romance woven in. Holt was certainly a capable writer, so it was painless to read, and the historical details of the uprising of India against British rule are interesting. I wasn't thrilled about the he
Anne Sexton
Excellent VH novel. Less formulaic than some others of hers. I thought the love story was very good and their relationship seemed realistic to me and the he was more than a stock figure too. This novel was less 'Gothic suspense' than most VH novels, the main drama was really what was really going on in India at the time, and that provided the danger and suspense rather than some more typical Gothic type of story. I also liked that the main character Drusilla wasn't just 18-21 during the novel, t ...more
Got to page 134.

I had to stop with this book just as Fabian's personality was starting to show. His character was an enigma before Drusilla and him travelled together.

The book was somewhat slow. The story wasnt as captivating as i had hoped. The chapters were so long and there were few stopping points. This is a frustration I have. I hate just stopping wherever. It's not in me.

Drusilla described, " Lavinia was haughty, overbearing and very beautiful.". I would add, naive.

Miss Bucille's story
I spent a way too much time reading this book. I am disappointed. I kept expecting greater things, but nothing.
I gave two stars because it was fine for someone else. It was just a chore for me by the end to finish it. And I really thought the ending should've been more than it was.
Lastly, it drove me nuts the way the character Polly kept using the word "reckon." Some of her phrases sounded like she was originally from Texas rather than Southern England.
I've read other books by the author that
Aug 24, 2014 Ara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All romance lovers!
Shelves: favorites
I so heart this book! the love and friendship and blackmail! O' God I'm swooning all over this book! The novel is about a young girl named Drusilla Delaney and the most-awesome, rich and arrogant bastard( and my secret crush)Fabian Framling. The novel follows many twists and turns starting with Drusilla touching the peacock feathers or namely 'The India Fan' and lady Lucille claiming drusilla was cursed as her and due to which she lost Dougal- then she goes to India 'cause of haughty friend's re ...more
This seemed to be more of a coming-of-age novel than a traditional romance novel. Some key events are presented episodically, rather than as a full story arc lasting from beginning to end. This was supposed to be gothic, given the rambling estate with one wing occupied by an elderly, tragic relative, and the heroine described more than one setting as having a foreboding feeling. As a reader, I didn't feel the creepiness, I was just told by the narrator "This place is creepy." Okay then.

What did
Emily Short
Read this because it was on my iPad and I was having a massive bout of insomnia.

It's competent, but there were a lot of things that grated on me severely: the Indian characters, even the friendly ones, are presented as aggressively Other; there are lampshade moments where the author decides to have characters explain to each other the history of India and then comment that the dialogue has become a history lesson; the main character is a bit too flawless; her promiscuous friend too simplistical
Holt’s purpose in writing her book, The India Fan, is to let her audience know how we are connected to people who we know since our childhood, and to show how our beliefs and thoughts reflect on our lives. It also teaches to help people, especially close ones, when they have problems. Moreover, it shows that happiness is not in money and beauty by comparing two absolutely opposite girls lives. The Indian Fan is a mesmerizing and enthralling story. Before I read the book, I thought it was just a ...more
I don't remember much about this book except that I did a book report on this book when I was fourteen. I made this book seem quite smutty to my classmates and thus fascinating until my teacher made me stop. I really played up the Lavinia character to be a tart. Another kid made the Lord of the Rings trilogy sound quite dull.
I'm giving this one 3 stars for content and 1 star for nostalgia as I first read it as a teenager. Compared to Shadow of the Moon it pales, but Victoria Holt was a cornerstone of my early reading foundation and I have to pay homage to that.
I liked the plot in this book but I think it took too long to tell the story. There were some parts that really dragged on and on. It's too bad because I thought the story was good. I just found myself grateful when it finally over.
Lizabeth Tucker
Rector’s daughter Drusilla Delaney has been fascinated with the Framling house for her whole life. She is invited to keep Lavinia Framling company as the two girls grow. Drusilla’s fascination with the house also pertains to the heir, Fabian Framling, since he kidnapped her when she was two years old to be his baby.

We follow their lives from childhood to adults, through romance and betrayal and adventure. For some there will be a happy ending. For others, tragedy and heartbreak. This isn't a boo
Oh Victoria Holt. She has a formula and works it well. This book is very much like her others. You can always count on a young heroine, several suitors (but which one is best for her?), and a mystery/danger of some sort. You can also count on Holt taking a long, long time to get to the end.

This book started out fun (I adore vintage suspense novels with great heroines and exotic locations although the time period was a little earlier than I normally love.) But the story rambled on and on and got
The Indian Fan by Victoria Holt is a great book not because of its thrilling plot but because of it's characters. The main character, Drusilla is a strong lead female that is refreshing from other unoriginal female protagonists. Also, once the relationships get deeper, it enhances everyone's true personality and motives that pull the book together. The only down side is that The Indian Fan does not have a fast plot as it stretches over Drusilla's life; however it is made up for by the full chara ...more
This is a very slow book. Where some books start slow and get faster and faster until the climax, when things slow down again, this book remains at its steady plodding pace from start to finish. But the author really spends time delving into her characters. We see them grow up from toddlers and watch them turn into adults, so you really get to know them. I feel like this author is rather a master of characters in that regard. However, the writing is dull, with repetitive sentence structure and v ...more
Patty Mccormick

I want to start by saying that I really liked this book. I give it 5/5 stars. This is not a new book either, but a 1998 book re-leased with a new cover for 2013. I love the cover!!! I have not read any of Victoria Holt’s Books (or so I thought-see note at the end). I thought that they were sappy romance novels, but that is not the case. This book like the one above I think has a wide reading appeal. There are secrets, lies, deception, blackmail, a double-crossing, a double suicide, a wealthy est
Stephanie Ricker
I just finished The India Fan by Victoria Holt, and there's quite a story behind that. Eight years ago, I stayed briefly at a condo in Perth, Australia as part of a larger trip to Sydney and Vanuatu. I was only there for a couple days, and I had packed light, so I hadn't brought any books. (Dismaying, I know.) The condo possessed a bookshelf containing a truly random assortment of books, obviously outcasts culled from someone's collection. The India Fan was the only thing that looked even remote ...more
Originally published in:

Book Source: Net Galley

This was one of the last novels written by Eleanor Hibbert, better known as Victoria Holt, Jean Plaidy, and Philippa Carr. This extraordinarily prolific writer, who according to this excellent page, jeanplaidy, wrote about 211 books in her lifetime under all her pseudonyms and sold more than 100 million books worldwide, including 23 bestsellers. The India Fan
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subjec
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