East of the Sun by Julia Gregson
Autumn 1928. Three young women are on their way to India, each with a new life in mind. Rose, a beautiful but naïve bride-to-be, is anxious about leaving her family and marrying a man she hardly knows. Victoria, her bridesmaid couldn t be happier to get away from her overbearing mother, and is determined to find herself a husband. And Viva, their inexperienced chaperone, is in search of the India of her childhood, ghosts from the past and freedom. Each of them has their own reason for leaving their homeland but the hopes and secrets they carry can do little to prepare them for what lies ahead in India.
This is the first time I have come across Gregson, and to be honest I was disappointed. There were a few significant events, such as Rose marrying, the events on the ship with Guy Glover and the consequences of taking him to India, and the decision Tor makes….but between all these things the story was flat, and a bit boring. There was a lot of writing but it felt like nothing was really happening. I put down and picked up this book at least three times and by the time I had finished it, I was left empty.
I don’t think Gregson wrote characters I could like, or even care about. I really wasn’t overly bothered what happened to them. I don’t know what it is about her writing style, but it meant I felt no empathy for them, and by the end I was reading just to finish the book, not to find out what happened to any other them.
I don’t know how accurate the book was either, but I did find it odd coming across modern names such as Debenhams and Thomas Cook in a book set in the beginning of the century – that said, they might have been around, it just didn’t seem to fit with the story.
I wasn’t convinced overly by the storyline itself. Guy Glover’s character was very seedy and odd. What he said in the book didn’t seem realistic, and when Viva got kidknapped because of him I wasn’t convinced by her escape. The whole book seemed a bit like that. I found it long-winded and dull really – a complete let down.