Shortlisted for the Epic Novel award in the Romantic Novelists Association Books Awards 2014.
Spanning four generations, The Midnight Rose sweeps from the glittering palaces of the great maharajas of India to the majestic stately homes of England, following the extraordinary life of a girl, Anahita Chavan, from 1911 to the present day . . .
In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-year-old Anahita, from a noble but impoverished family, forms a lifelong friendship with the headstrong Princess Indira, the privileged daughter of rich Indian royalty. Becoming the princess’s official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of the Great War. There, she meets the young Donald Astbury – reluctant heir to the magnificent, remote Astbury Estate – and his scheming mother.
Eighty years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. But when her turbulent relationship with her equally famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn, she’s relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to the wilds of Dartmoor in England. Shortly after filming begins at the now-crumbling Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita’s great-grandson, arrives unexpectedly, on a quest for his family’s past. What he and Rebecca discover begins to unravel the dark secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty . . .
A beautiful read that en-capture’s 100 years in its telling, separating countries and timelines as they sow the seeds of a remarkable character, threading the links together to culminate in a climatic ending.
The story starts from the narrative of 100 year old Anahita, who we find in India in the year 2000 and is spilt across era’s in the telling of Anahita’ story.
On her hundredth birthday Anahita entrusts her story to her grandson Ari, which leads him to Astbury Hall and Rebecca Bradley.
As the pair strike up a friendship they embark on a quest to discover the link Anahita has to Astbury hall and the family that reside there.
Anahita sends the reader on a tale of discovery, a tale that will inspire and amaze.
She is an incredibly wise character and you can’t help but feel for her at times in her life.
Which is the same for Rebecca because there are times in the story where I hoped her life would turn around.
Rebecca is a wonderful character to read about, beautiful inside and out. But without the knowledge of her own true beauty.
Other lovely characters can be found in the form of Maharani of Cooch Behar, Sereena & Ari.
Then on the other side of the spectrum you find a character i despised, Lady Maud, claiming to be carrying out gods deeds as an excuse for her evil actions.
What appears to be a daunting read at 688 pages will leave you lost and longing for what is a fascinating story that will capture your heart and mind.
A big thank you to Olivia for sending me a copy to review.