Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Historical Fiction

Finished September 6
East of the Sun by Julia Gregson
This novel has an epic feel to it, even though it takes place over the period of just over a year, from late 1928 to early 1930. We follow Viva Holloway, a young woman who grew up in India and now wants to go back to revisit the place where she lost her family. To do this she takes on work as a chaperone, but while generally level-headed, she is also inexperienced.
Two of her charges are young ladies. Rose is going out to India to be married to a young officer that she has only met a few times. Victoria, Rose's bridesmaid is determined to find a husband while she is in India and never return to her domineering mother.
The third charge Viva has taken on is a young man, Guy Glover, who has been expelled from his school and is returning to his parents in India. Guy is a very disturbed young man, and when he acts out during the voyage, Viva is out of her depth, and only manages with the help of a doctor on board the ship, Frank.
Once in India, Rose faces her new life in marriage while Victoria (Tor) is taking advantage of every opportunity to enjoy life and find a man. Viva finds that Guy's parents leave her in the lurch and she must find a job quickly to make ends meet. She begins working in an orphanage.
While Viva keeps in touch with Rose and Tor, she finds that she cannot escape Guy and it is her relationship with him that eventually brings her back to facing down her own past and finding out what happened to her family.

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