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Monsoon Memories

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  807 ratings  ·  74 reviews
“English rain smelt and tasted of nothing at all. It had none of the fury, the passion of the monsoons. Instead, it was weak; half-hearted.”

Exiled from her family in India for more than a decade, Shirin and her husband lead a comfortable but empty life in London.

Memories of her childhood – exotic fragrances, colours, stifling heat and tropical storms – fill Shirin with a
...more
ebook, 1, 410 pages
Published June 21st 2013 by Bookouture
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  807 ratings  ·  74 reviews


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Adite
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indian-setting
Renita D'Silva makes a stunning debut with a book that has loss, longing and bittersweet memories at the heart of its story.

Shirin lives in London with her husband Vinod and yearns to go back home to India. However, she dreads being shunned by her family that cast her out after one tragic incident. Back in India, 11 year old Reena comes across an old photograph of her dad Deepak, aunt Anita and an unknown relative (who could only be an aunt) as she bears a striking resemblance to her. Reena is
...more
Winter Sophia Rose
Heartwarming, Unforgettable, Intriguing & Endearing! A Wonderful Read! I Loved It!
Ken
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
Beautiful writing and storytelling that captures the sights, smells, and sounds of life in rural India and contrasts it with a more mundane existence in England. The two main characters, Shirin and Reena, are drawn with careful attention to detail. I particularly liked Reena's "detective casebook" narrative. As these two separate lives intertwine and the story unfolds, D'Silva does an excellent job with pacing that kept me engaged throughout the book. Along the way, I enjoyed a sensory feast, ...more
Cleopatra  Pullen
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued by the blurb when contacted by the publisher to see if I would be interested in reading this book. What follows is an unbiased review but I am really glad I was chosen to read this one as it has that unique something that makes it immensely readable.

Monsoon Memories is an evocative book describing the life of Reenu, an eleven year old girl. Reenu visits her Grandmother in Taipur and finds a picture of a girl hidden in the family photo album. Having decided to be a sleuth like her
...more
Jenny Hale
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Monsoon Memories by Renita D’Silva is a book for anyone who enjoys meandering through unfamiliar landscapes and discovering hidden secrets within them. The book effortlessly transports readers between England and India, painting each world with words and pulling us in with all of our senses. I found myself longing to be where “the coconut trees stood out in relief against the blanket of rain which muddied the courtyard that Madhu had diligently swept and tidied just that morning.”

Against these
...more
Olia
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book - a moving, well paced read. I thought way the secrets in the story were gradually uncovered from two main characters pov's was a nice touch, and overall feel was very dreamy. I guessed the BIG SECRET reasonably early on, but it did not spoil the enjoyment of reading the rest of the book - in fact, I felt the references of unspoken of but implied events in the past were quite a draw. 4 stars and not 5 because for me there were too many unexplained Indian references - ...more
Thebooktrail
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2000s: A life long ago in India – awoken with a lost forgotten photograph.

Visit the locations here - Booktrail of Monsoon memories

The contrast of countries, times and settings make for a poignant tale of homesickness and secrets. Shirin leads a rather empty life in London that she always compares to the colour and vibrancy of life in Bangalore. Even the rain is different:

“English rain smelt and tasted of nothing at all. It had none of the fury, the passion of the monsoons. Instead, it was weak;
...more
Kristen
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read! Told by two different characters (one woman and one 11 year old girl) in two different countries, it tells the story of an Indian family and how each of their lives were changed by one fateful day. The pacing of the story started a little slow for me, but definitely kept me intrigued once more of the plot surfaced. I had a little difficulty with all of the references to Indian food, but the descriptions of the different towns and people in India were well-done and helped me really ...more
Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
Oh I've just finished reading this book and I'm struggling to find the right words to express how much I enjoyed reading it. This book is just amazing! I've read other books by the brilliant Renita D'Silva - all fabulous reads - but I hadn't yet read this book, her debut novel. Now after reading it, I can't actually believe this was her first book!!!

Through her beautiful exotic prose, this author has once again taken me on an emotional ride spanning continents. This is the story of a family
...more
Tanya (mom's small victories)
Story and Characters
A wonderfully dramatic and poignant debut novel from Renita D'Silva. I was captivated by the characters and their plight. I was intrigued by what deep secret could have torn the family apart. What caused Shirin so much grief that she was haunted by the Eyes that would follow her during her daydreams and nightmares? My heart broke for Shirin, she exiled herself to the UK but longed for her family in India but wondered if they could ever forgive her. I could empathize with
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Puja
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while, comes along a newbie author who takes you by absolute surprise and transports you to a place where you stop thinking that you are reading a debut work. Monsoon Memories by Renita D’Silva was one such read for me - it mesmerised me with its poignant narration and heart-warming story and kept me hooked to the book till the last page. The story keeps oscillating between the frosty winters of London and tropical monsoons of India, between the past and the present and is yet ...more
Lilisa
Alternating between the U.K. and India, the story revolves around Shirin who physically lives in London but is mentally and emotionally forever tied to her childhood and home country of India. Struggling with demons that never leave her, she is held hostage to and is held captive to secrets that haunt and threaten to consume her completely. Only the love and patience of her husband Vinod help ease her memories. In India, Shirin's young niece Reena is leading a carefree life until she discovers ...more
Caroline Mitchell
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookouture
Monsoon Memories is a beautiful uplifting story of a family torn apart. Family relationships feature as the heart of this engaging story and the characters are fully fleshed and brought to life. Exiled from her family in India for more than a decade, Shirin and her husband lead a comfortable but empty life in London. Thousands of miles away, in Bangalore, the daughter of Shirin’s brother discovers a lost, forgotten photograph. One that has escaped the flames.

Determined to solve the mystery of an
...more
Sherry
I loved this book. It tells the tale of two Indian women. Shirin lives in London with her husband and has a disturbing past that she can't bear to remember. Reena is a young girl of 11 who lives in India. Reena, who fancies herself a Nancy Drew detective discovers a photograph of Shirin as a child nestled between her father and his sister. She wants to know who is this missing sister, and why she's never mentioned. The story goes between London and India,as the two stories merge. There are some ...more
Em Finnis
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book..
I'm really enjoying reading this beautifully written book that has the ability to transport you to being there watching the story unfold in front of your eyes.
The secret is there and clear for all who read the book from an early stage but the wanting to know how it plays out in the end will keep you reading, it's makes you want to read more each day.
The two main characters individual stories are both heart warming and heart wrenching at times. I find myself hoping that
...more
Sylvie Adams
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'Monsoon Memories' is a story of a young woman's struggle to come to terms with her past and her aching desire to return home. Engaging and occasionally witty, I enjoyed reading Shirin's childhood memories of India and found these characters to have great depth. Very readable and highly recommended.
Cassian Mendes
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly captivating book - right from the start, characters nicely introduced and the author has built up the suspense gradually and evenly.

Good reference to the culture of south India and the story line relevant to our day and age where there is aspiration to work overseas away from home with always the desire to go back to the roots where you once belong. Nice touch and a lovely ending.
Amelia Strudwick
I have never read a book before based around Indian Culture but i absolutely loved it. The descriptive text makes it so easy to imagine you are right in the story with the characters. The whole story was well written and hard to believe that its the authors first book. A wonderful read and highly recommended.
Deborah O'Regan
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Renita D'Silva didn't disappoint in anything in this book. Loved all the descriptions, emotions and the story line was fast paced. Loved the description of the food! Made me go to eat in an Indian restaurant three times while on holidays....
Loy D'souza
A well written story covering the key themes which make a great story such as love, honour, truth, jealousy, loss and forgiveness; and how values such as honour are interpreted differently by children and adults. Vivid descriptions of life in India and London make the story come out alive.
Fiona Valpy
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lyrically written, this is a moving and uplifting account of an Indian family torn apart by events. Highly evocative - with delicious descriptions of the scents, tastes and colours of southern India - and a gripping insight into the vulnerability of women in this very different culture.
Prerna Lal
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compelling writing and complete page-turner through use of suspense.
Shubhi Nigam
Heart-touching story.
Good read!
Aathira Jim
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the book cover: “English rain smelt and tasted of nothing at all. It had none of the fury, the passion of the monsoons. Instead, it was weak; half-hearted.”

Exiled from her family in India for more than a decade, Shirin and her husband lead a comfortable but empty life in London. Memories of her childhood – exotic fragrances, colours, stifling heat and tropical storms – fill Shirin with a familiar and growing ache for the land and the people that she loves. With the recollections though,
...more
Elaine
Jul 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india
This is a story told from two view points. First, we have the main protagonist Shirin. Shirin is living in London with her husband Vinod. They have a good marriage but both are homesick for India which they left 11 years ago. It is made worse by the fact that they cannot return because Shirin has been made an outcast by her family, who have declared her dead to them.

The other viewpoint is that of Reena, Shirin's niece in India. Reena's heroine is Nancy Drew and she wants to be a famous
...more
Rebecca Stonehill
I loved this book - even for someone who doesn't adore India, Renita D'Silva conjures up the colour and smells of Southern India with such warmth and attention to detail that in a way, just as the protagonist Shirin yearns for India, so too does the reader. All the descriptions of different dishes cooked by Madhu were wonderful and I disagree with a previous commenter who said that not knowing what the foods are was off-putting; for me it added extra authenticity to the prose - and spice! I ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2013
"Monsoon Memories" is the story of a family torn apart by secrets. The secrets are so deep that the family may not ever be able to recover from. Shirin has her life in London. She's with her husband but is desperately missing her family in India. Reena is captivated by a mysterious photo of her father, aunt, and another strange woman whose mystery Reena wants to solve. This book is a good story about family and how families can overcome just about anything through love and understanding.

I
...more
Heather
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As soon as I came across this book I had to read it. I love books set in India and this had all the right ingredients. As well as the story which involves secrets, family loyalty and a mystery to be solved there is the exotic description of spices and cooking, the wonderful colours and images of landscape and the the contrast of poverty to that of the middle class. I could imagine myself right there.

This is a first novel from Renita D'Silva and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I believe there is another
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Judith
I was chosen to receive this book as an ARC through Goodreads and I am very glad I was.

From the start, this story grabbed me and wouldn't let go. As Shirin and Reena's overlapping stories unfolded, they tugged at my heart and more than once I found myself in tears, sharing the emotions and struggles faced by these two. Well paced and brilliant writing about families, misunderstandings, pain, anger, self doubt and forgiveness - there is a lesson in this story that people should take to heart. A
...more
Siobhan Daiko
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, quickly becoming engrossed in the story. Like the delightful eleven year-old protagonist, I wanted to solve the mystery at the heart of the narrative. Renita D’Silva cleverly drops clues, but doesn’t give away too much too soon, teasing the reader right up to the end. Beautifully written, Renita’s Monsoon Memories takes you straight to India through the wonderful descriptions, evoking the sight, sounds, smells and tastes of this fascinating country and giving you an insight ...more
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I love nothing better than to lose myself in a good book. The only thing that comes close to the feeling I get when I read is when I am writing. I am the author of 'Monsoon Memories','The Forgotten Daughter','The Stolen Girl', 'A Sister's Promise', 'A Mother's Secret', 'A Daughter's Courage', 'Beneath An Indian Sky', 'The Girl In The Painting'. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I loved ...more
“She liked the way a ray of mild autumn sun infiltrating the thick cluster of trees caught a reddish orange leaf swirling in the wind and transformed it golden yellow. She liked that it wasn’t a leaf she recognised, that she could name or associate with her past.” 11 likes
“What wouldn’t my people give for a few bites of the biryani she ordered me to throw away yesterday because she said it smelt?” 6 likes
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