First post of the day is on the blog tour for The Girl in the Painting by Renita D’Silva. This is a beautiful, heart wrenching tale of family, love, loss, betrayal and forgiveness, and I am so thankful I have discovered this amazing author.
Discover the secret of the girl in the painting today.
India, 1926: English Margaret arrives with her new husband Suraj at his family home, set amidst beautiful rolling hills, the air filled with the soft scent of spices and hibiscus flowers. Margaret is unwelcome, homesick and lonely, but her maid Archana, a young woman from an impoverished family, reminds her of her long-lost sister, a tiny glimpse of home in a faraway place.
As Margaret and Archana spend more time together, an unexpected friendship blooms. But in British India the divide between rich and poor, English and Indian, is wide, and the clash between Margaret’s modern views and the weight of tradition on Archana will lead to devastating results…
England, 2000: When Emma’s grandmother gives her a mysterious painting, and asks her to take a message of forgiveness to an old friend in India, Emma is relieved to have some time and space to make a decision about her future. But as she fulfils her grandmother’s wish, a secret kept for over seventy years is finally revealed – the story of a day spent painting by a stream full of water lilies, where a betrayal tore three lives apart forever…
Perfect for fans of Kathryn Hughes, Lucinda Riley and The Storyteller’s Secret, Renita D’Silva’s exquisite novel explores the strength it takes to do what is right, no matter the cost.
There is nothing that I didn’t love about this book!
The chapters alternate between Margaret, Archana and Emma, with us being taken back to the early 1900’s to learn about Margaret life in London and her move India; and Archana’s very different life growing up in India. We’re then taken to 2000 where we learn about Emma, and hear about Margaret.
Margarets life starts off privileged with a lovely family life, but as a young girl her life is changed dramatically through family tragedy and the war. Years later she finally gets to do something she wants, and moves away to start a new life. One that brings her out of her shell and gives her everything she had dreamed of. She finds love and moves to India with her husband…..
Archana is from a poor village in India with strict ideals and traditions. She had a close knit family but then her wayward sister causes mayhem and the family falls apart. Her life is a struggle but she plods on and is eventually married. Although it’s not the life she’s dreamed of she settles for what she has…..
Then her and Margaret meet, become close and then tragedy strikes again…….
Emma is going through her own struggles and is shocked and delighted when her Grandmother asks her to go to India to deliver a present and a heartfelt message. She doesn’t know much about her Grandmothers life in India. What will the journey uncover? What secrets has her Grandmother kept hidden?
For me, this is unlike anything I have ever read and I completely fell in love with the story and characters. I was completely and utterly sucked in to the story and it really felt like I was reading someone’s memoir.
The writing style is fantastic, it was easy to read and Renita is absolutely fantastic in her story telling and the way she allows you to completely understand and get to know the characters. All my emotions came to the surface….I cried, smiled, laughed and even felt the anger, relief and betrayal.
I’ve not read any of Renita’s previous books but now I know I absolutely must. I’m so glad that I’ve had the opportunity to discover this amazing talent and her beautiful stories. If you’ve not read anything by Renita before then you most definitely should, you won’t be disappointed.
This honestly is one of the most beautiful and poignant stories I have ever read!
about the author
Renita D’Silva loves stories, both reading and creating them. Her short stories have been published in ‘The View from Here’, ‘Bartleby Snopes’, ‘this zine’, ‘Platinum Page’, ‘Paragraph Planet’ among others and have been nominated for the ‘Pushcart’ prize and the ‘Best of the Net’ anthology. She is 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’.
Tour hosted by:
As always, check out the reviews of the other fantastic bloggers.
A massive thank you to the author and to Bookouture for a copy of the book in return for an honest review. All views are my own and unbiased.
Have a great weekend!