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Rising of a Dead Moon

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  40 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Paul Haston's critically acclaimed novel is set against a backdrop of 19th century Indian Indenture, the shipment of Indians to work on white-owned sugar plantations in Natal. Usha, an Indian girl is forced to marry an older man whom she doesn't love. His subsequent death seems a liberation, but she faces a widow's burning, her life will end in the flames of her dead husba ...more
Paperback, 238 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by CreateSpace independent Publishing Platform (first published October 8th 2012)
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Richard
Review copy kindly provided by author and Goodreads friend Paul Haston.

This novel narrates the story of Usha, a Bengali girl who is forced into an arranged marriage and shunned by her own family as well as her husband's when she becomes a widow. In an effort to locate her father who has disappeared, she goes to South Africa and ends up in even more dire straits. A chance meeting with Lt. James Rothwell, an Englishman lacking the usual imperialist prejudices, gives her a glimpse of hope, but she
...more
Vaisakhi
Rising of a Dead Moon is all about a seventeen year old Indian girl whose life has been oscillating between being Usha-Nakti and Usha again. The book set in the British colonial time, focuses on the plight of a young widow who is blamed for being inauspicious when her husband, three times her age passes away. She is shunned by the society and her miserable fate does not abandon her no matter where she goes. Her journey from the girl who rejoiced in the lap of her father, listening to stories, to ...more
Privy Trifles
When I was first approached by the author for a review I was a bit skeptical purely because I don't read much of international authors. But when I read the story line I realised its a story with an Indian backdrop.

The moment I began reading it I was gripped. The narrative so excellent and the detailing brilliant. It did not feel as if a non-Indian had written this book. The amount of research done behind this book is immense and it shows.

Its a commendable feat to write on a culture which is so d
...more
Rieta Ganas
An exciting read at most times - one those books that gets you to the end in one go.
The happenings in India and the hindu scriptures was very well researched and used appropriately, although being South African I somewhat felt that there was a part missing - perhaps the notion of the "zulus" and their integration into society at that time required more research.
The story of a heroine that could actually be placed anywhere geaographically but would still have the stigmas and culture of one's birt
...more
Mikela
This book was the group read selection for the month of a group that I belong to. I would like to thank the author who was kind enough to make it available as a free download to members.

What I liked/disliked: While I liked the crisp, sparse writing that moved the story on with a steady even momentum, I cannot help but feel that he was a little too clinical when talking about important events thus distancing the reader from them rather than bringing the reader into the story. For example, this is
...more
Shannon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eva

Great read. I cried at poor Usha's treatment. A widow's life in India was and still is appalling. The woman escapes Sati and flees to Africa to a sugar plantation. The writing is well crafted, indeed brilliant at times. What I particularly liked was the story. i won't give too much away, but there are sufficient twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat, and the ending - dramatic, shocking - is a fitting climax.

The two main characters are complex and multifaceted, which
...more
Donna
I gave this book only 4 stars because it took me quite a while to get involved in it. Having seen the movie WATER I knew the fate of widows in India-treatment that is wholly barbaric. That and the fact that I became tired of the adjective "trembling" being over used. That said, I am now glad that I stayed with the book. I ended up really enjoying it. The ending was the only one that could have taken place and, though sad, was a relief from "they lived happily ever after." All in all a worthwhile ...more
Kathy
I was totally drawn in by this story. The characters in this book remind me of Victorian English characters who suffer from unrequited love and angst, although this is not a romance novel per se. The setting and time befits the way this has been written. The story is very fast paced and I couldn't put it down. The ending was a total surprise. Thoroughly enjoyed the book.
Lynelle Clark
I received this book from the author for an honest review.

I really did like this book. Filled with intrigue, the rich history of Natal, South Africa and the Indian culture you are taken back in the colonial time when the English was still in control of the land. The arrogance of them coming here, ruling and making their own laws that only suite them was evident throughout. And even after Independence and democracy the legacy that the English left still causes many problems we still have to face
...more
Melanie
This is a book about the plight of a child bride in India who is forced into an arranged marriage and then suffers the hardship and harsh judgements that her new widowhood brings after her husband's untimely death. The story of Usha is a sad one, so be prepared for quite a dramatic story. I have always enjoyed learning of the rich Indian culture and country and this book delivers in its descriptions of the landscapes and culture of both India and Africa, albeit in a tragic and less than glowing ...more
Hermione Laake
This book has depth and surprising twists and turns of plot. There was something of the mystery building in it, which was reflected in the language and plot shifts. Essentially it is about the legacy of our history as colonisers and imperialists. It is beautifully crafted, with a strong sense of place.

There is a strong thread running through it, of the question of whether we can influence our fate, or whether we are, in the end, powerless against it.

Striving tends to achieve less than letting
...more
Melinda
Usha, an Indian girl is forced into an arranged marriage then widowed. She escapes a widow's burning and flees to Africa to find the father who has abandoned her.

Set against a backdrop of 19th century Indian Indenture, the shipment of Indians to work on white-owned sugar plantations in Natal, Paul Haston's critically acclaimed novel is a story of hope and tragic drama.

Usha is a young woman facing many injustices by her culture, family and society. She endures much and marches on but finds the em
...more
Patrick
Excellent book! Set during colonial South Africa with great characters and a great plot. The one thing that really stood out to me was the author's (Paul Haston)writing skills. Very smooth reading. If you're a person that enjoys a historical back-drop and exceptional writing, I would highly recommend this book.
Andrea Taylor
This book has everything; an authentic voice, a gripping story, atmospheric settings and a tragic yet strong heroine. It held me to the very last page. Highly recommend!
Aurora
Name of Book: Rising of a Dead Moon

Author: Paul Haston

ISBN: 9781480025370

Publisher: Createspace

Type of book: 1800s, Africa, India, widowhood, destiny vs free will, spirituality, white male/Indian female, progressiveness, prejudice

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

An Indian girl is forced into an arranged marriage then widowed. She escapes a widow's burning and flees to Africa to find the father who has abandoned her.

**WHOLE BOOK CURRENTLY FREE TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD** Click 'Read Book' below the
...more
Hannah
Rising of a Dead Moon: Paul Haston

How could anyone treat a woman with such brutality? The whipping meted out to Usha, the Indian widow, brought up a wave of emotion inside me. No punches pulled (literally) and a story that enmeshes the reader in its tension. Once I started reading, I found I could not stop. The bits in Africa on the plantation are atmospheric and the story gradually darkens and becomes more intriguing. I won't give the ending away but it is a shocker.
Annika Telemar
The enthralling tragedy of a young Indian widow who tries to find her way in the world, and along the way discovers love, which is condemned from its very beginning.
I thoroughly enjoyed Usha`s journey; which was intriguing from the start.

Keep writing Paul!
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Paul Haston is a writer based in Vancouver, Canada. He writes novels, short stories and screenplays across several genres including literary fiction, historical fiction and young adult. Haston published his debut novel Blood and Doves in October 2012, followed almost contemporaneously by Rising of a Dead Moon (first published October 2012, re-written and published in final form October 2013), and ...more
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Echo and the Magical Whispers Blood and Doves

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“So wise men avoided Usha. The death of her husband ensured that she became inauspicious. The white sari wrapped itself around her shaking body and the lily of her youth wilted before it had even begun to flower.” 1 likes
“Leather cut into Usha's flesh and she screamed. She screamed for the soreness in her back, she screamed for the throbbing sensation in her soft belly, she screamed for the hope that was being lashed out of her; multiple screams for the first few lashings then whimpering as blinding pain clouded her head, numbness froze her body. Hope became hopeless. After twenty lashings even the whimpering stopped, only the nothingness of nothing remained.” 1 likes
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