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The India Fan

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  3,568 Ratings  ·  202 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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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
1.5 stars. This book almost put Victoria Holt on my list of never-read-again authors. The India Fan didn't quite plumb the depths of awfulness to the extent that I demand before I one-star a book, but it was a close call. I actually clicked back and forth between one star and two several times.

Drusilla Delaney--who, despite what the GR blurb says, is not beautiful--grows up in the mid-19th century in England in shadow of the wealthy Framling family who lives nearby. Lady Harriet Framling bosses
...more
Nandakishore Varma
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Obsidian
I don't even know how to start this review. I really enjoyed the other Victoria Holt book I read, Mistress of Mellyn, but this one, no. A thousand times no. There was sexism, classicism, racism, I am sure I am forgetting some -ism. And yes, I do get that the setting that this book takes place in is just echoing what these times were like, it still doesn't mean I have to like it. But more than that, the main character Drusilla sucks. She does. From her shaming a woman who was raped and wants to g ...more
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
For a woman we are told is "plain" (nearly as many times as we are told Fabian "kidnapped" her in infancy), she certainly does seem to attract male attention.
Caz
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
...more
The Lit Bitch
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweeping Victorian Tale of Adventure and Love in England, France and India

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 significant in Drusilla’s life.

We meet Drusilla as a young girl when she is taken to the big house to be the playmate of the spoiled but
...more
Ashley
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-hrs
It had some issues, but at the end of the day I loved this book. I'm putting it on my favorite historical romances shelf, but just a head's up: though there's a romance element it's more of a coming of age story than anything. The book follows the heroine from birth until her late twenties. There's a romance thread throughout but it's in the background for much of the story.
Sarah
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I just discovered Victoria Holt! She's described as the Queen of Gothic Romance, and she has tons and tons of books. I feel like I just found a hidden stash of Oreos.
Gaile
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
Mojca
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
...more
Gail
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Alicia
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Deborah Ideiosepius
It has been many a long year since I read anything by Victoria Holt... Quite possibly even many a long decade... and I may not have read this one if it had not been for a group challenge and the word 'India' in it's title. That said it was a much more complex, well written story than I expected.

Drusilla is the rectors 'plain' daughter who is used as a suitable playfellow for the pampered daughter up at the manor house (Hello: Jane Austin, said my inner book monitor), she spends her childhood hap
...more
Katie W
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
...more
Melissa
May 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  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
Heidi
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Zora
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Anne Sexton
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Carol
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
 Mummy Cat Claire
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
...more
Lauren
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.
Sandra
Oh its been ages since I've read this book. It was recommended to me because it was light and had a nice romance in it. It's an alright story and pleasant enough, but rather traditional, you know instantly where this is going to go, but thats alright since it was romance after all. So its supposed to have but one ending.
Neja
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-childhood
Books written by Victoria Holt are so cheesy, but sometimes that's exactly what you need. I've read a loooot of her books when I was 14/15 years old..that was the last time I've read them. I absolutely loved them at the time. I'm thinking of reading one of her books just for the old times sake! =)
Monica
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent Victoria Holt novel. These novels have a very similar pattern to them but I am always interested until the end. This novel takes place in England and India. I also enjoyed the history about India that was given. There was some excellent action and of course romance.
Michelle
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.
Carrie
I love Victoria Holt books. This one did not disappoint.
Kiki
Sorry, no rating for this.
I am deeply ashamed for reading this, loving it, and then owning a copy.
description
This is an infatuation of my 16 years old self, and I have NOTHING good to say about this book.
- Heroine, is horribly judgemental, and judges someone who was raped!!! (I don;t mind her calling Lavinia a slut, Lavinia, was, in fact a cheating slut!)
- the OM was head over heals in love with heroine, one look at Lavinia, and he was hook, line and sinker gone, and was like: Drusilla, Drusilla who? He de
...more
Romina
Originally published in:
http://rominasbkreviews.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-india-fan-victoria-holt-19882013.html#more


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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