I really loved this book right up until the last page--- and then? It ended so abruptly I was shocked. So many questions left unanswered, so many loosI really loved this book right up until the last page--- and then? It ended so abruptly I was shocked. So many questions left unanswered, so many loose threads. I have since learned that apparently the hardback was over 500 pages, whereas this -- the digital copy I read as well as new ditions of paperback and hardback -- have been abridged. If this is true it's a really bad abridgement. It ends on a very basic happy-ever-after note -- everything wound up in a page or two. What a shame! I advise readers to look for an older hardback and read the whole thing. I might just do the same myself!...more
I read the first book in this series, the Tea Planter's Daughter, a few months ago and though it was well written and had a good storyline, I was dis I read the first book in this series, the Tea Planter's Daughter, a few months ago and though it was well written and had a good storyline, I was disappointed as it was set more in Newcastle than in India. I read this book as second in the series, and was totally captivated. Loved every moment of it and though the end was a tiny bit rushed it didn't matter - it kept me captivated. And forced me to read the second in the series, the Tea Planter's Bride, just so I can go back and fill in the background of a few of the characters! So this book reads very well as a stand-alone; but it's better to read the three books in the right order, otherwise there will be spoilers. I do hope she continues the series. Storytelling at its best, especially if you like books set in India....more
I’ve loved travelling since I was a child, and have been fortunate enough to have been given many opportunities to do so. Different cultures fascinateI’ve loved travelling since I was a child, and have been fortunate enough to have been given many opportunities to do so. Different cultures fascinate me: and when in another country I prefer to plunge right in and try to “feel” the place through the people who live there. No wonder, then, that I felt such a connection to Iris Johnson, the main protagonist in Rebecca Stonehill’s The Girl and the Sunbird. This is the poignant story of a young woman with no choice in life: she must either marry a despicable Lord, or be sent to East Africa to marry a man she has never met, found through a magazine advert by her cold mother. She chooses the latter – I would too! And sets off on the adventure of her life.
Arriving in Nairobi, Iris discovers that Jeremy Lawrence, her new husband, is not exactly the man of her dreams – more the man of her worst nightmare. But Iris does not give in to despondency. Determined to make the most of her new home she makes friends and falls in love with the country, its flora and fauna. Iris discovers her talent as a teacher – and more. The chemistry she finds with Kamau, a local teacher, is instant and mutual. Kamau is everything Jeremy is not: kind, compassionate, open-minded, sensitive. As their love grows so too does the knowledge that there is no hope for them to be ever together. What comes next is utterly heart-breaking, and I won’t spoil it for you by giving more details. All I can say is that if like me you are an armchair traveller – for surely a good novel set in a country you’ve never been to is the next best thing to going there yourself – you will become immersed in the story through the gorgeous writing and the sense that these are real people, victims of the unrelenting taboos and privileges of their time. A must read...more
Renita has done it again! I knew she wouldn't disappoint, and I was right. This delightful story that will take you to the heart of India and take youRenita has done it again! I knew she wouldn't disappoint, and I was right. This delightful story that will take you to the heart of India and take you right under the skin of the protagonists. The twists and turns will surprise you, but most of all you will smell, taste, breathe the atmosphere. You will live in a wonderful house and long to give it the TLC it needs. You will long for things to turn out well, and at the end you will breathe a big ling sign of relief. Well done Renita, and thank you!...more