Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Stolen Girl – Renita D’Silva

Contemporary Fiction 4*'s
Contemporary Fiction
4*’s

Ever since reading Renita D’Silva’s debut novel Monsoon Memories I have been a firm follower of this author with her tales across the Indian and English cultures.

The Stolen Girl has progressed the delightful and well-structured storytelling to another level due to the huge mystery at the heart of this novel. Diya is a teenage girl, living in England with her mother Vani who works in the local Indian restaurant bringing back the smells of the spices and oils as she returns home every night. One night she tells Diya they have to move, again. Diya is far from keen having made her first proper friend but that night everything changes when Vani is accused of abducting Diya from her real mother, Aarti, as a baby.

I really enjoyed this story told from the viewpoints of Diya in the present day, Vani by letters reminiscing over her past in India and Aarti as she lays claim to the daughter she lost thirteen years before. These three narrators all build up a picture of what life was like for the two women before Diya’s birth with lavish descriptions of houses and smells, of the different ways parents express their love for their children as well as an interesting insight into how your background is critical in hierarchical India. One of the things I love about this author’s writing is that on the whole she allows her readers to infer the messages, despite Vani’s life being very different to mine, I could ‘put myself in her shoes’ not because I was told how to wear them, but rather because a picture was painted using subtle tones allowing me to empathise with the choices she made.

The plotting is superb with the pace carefully controlled with well-timed revelations from the two women placed against the confusion of young Diya who struggles to comprehend the deceptions that led her to live in England within a close-knit relationship of two with her mother. With the issue of the effects of eating disorders covered too this novel could easily have slipped into a dispiriting read with so much misery but the thread of hope that all would turn out well for Diya along with some great supporting characters meant that this was avoided.

Having now had the pleasure of reading three excellent books by this author I can’t wait to see what Renita D’Silva produces next. I’d like to thank the publishers Bookouture for the copy of this book to read in return for this honest review. The Stolen Girl was published on 12 September 2014.

Other books by Renita D’Silva
click the book covers to see my reviews.
Monsoon Memories

The Forgotten Daughter

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

16 thoughts on “The Stolen Girl – Renita D’Silva

  1. Cleo – So good to hear that this one turned out as good as you’d hoped. I’d been wondering what you thought of it. It sounds as though, among other things, there is a strong sense of context and setting as well as the plot, and that’s all to the good. Thanks for the fine review.

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    1. Thank you Margot – so good to hear you liked the review. The book had the perfect balance of allowing the reader to infer for themselves about the effects the past had on the present. Renita D’Silva is excellent at painting a picture of the various settings used in her books.

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  2. Oh, I do love when an author shows us what it feels like to be a specific character through words….I like your description “a picture was painted using subtle tones allowing me to empathise with the choices she made.”

    Thanks for sharing…and now I must check out this author.

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  3. Thanks for a new author. The TBR list just crashed!
    I will add this to my “want to” read.
    However, one question. Will I cry through this book? I’m trying to limit these to one a month at the most.

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    1. I’m relatively hard to make cry and I didn’t while reading this book. It is sad in places but because the perspective switches it isn’t a book that dwells on the sadness so I can’t imagine relentless sobbing but you may shed a tear or two..

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  4. Given the ridiculousness of my TBR, I’m going to use all of my iron will-power on this one, but I must say your excellent review makes it sound incredibly tempting… I love what you say about her letting you ‘infer the messages’ through the subtlety of her descriptions…

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