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

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (September 10)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading The Stolen Girl by Renita D’Silva who writes great novels which are all based upon a mixture of Indian and English heritage.

The Stolen Girl

Blurb

For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, it’s always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else. Then, in an instant, Diya’s fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby…
Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister.
Told through the eyes of Diya, Vani and Aarti, this is a heart-breaking story of friendship and betrayal, love and motherhood, which asks the question; how far would you go to protect your only child? NetGalley

I have just finished reading A Trick of the Mind by Penny Hancock
click on the book cover to read my review

A Trick of the Mind

Next I am going to read Trust in Me by Sophie McKenzie

Trust in Me

Blurb

Julia has always been the friend that Livy turns to when life is difficult. United fifteen years ago by grief at the brutal murder of Livy’s sister, Kara, they’ve always told each other everything.
Or so Livy thought.
So when Julia is found dead in her home, Livy cannot come to terms with the news that she chose to end her own life. The Julia that Livy knew was vibrant and vivacious, a far cry from the selfish neurotic that her family seem determined to paint her as.
Troubled by doubt but alone in her suspicions, Livy sets out to prove that Julia was in fact murdered. But little does she realise that digging into her best friend’s private life will cause her to question everything she thought she knew about Julia. And the truth that Livy discovers will tear the very fabric of her own life apart. NetGalley

What are you reading this week? Share with me in the comments below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Tuesday Teaser (September 9)

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

My teaser this week is from The Stolen Girl by Renita D’Silva

The Stolen Girl

Blurb

For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, it’s always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else. Then, in an instant, Diya’s fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby…
Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister.
Told through the eyes of Diya, Vani and Aarti, this is a heart-breaking story of friendship and betrayal, love and motherhood, which asks the question; how far would you go to protect your only child? NetGalley

My Teaser

I slam the door with a satisfying thud on her teary face and clatter down the stairs, the smell of burgers and overcooked rice, the faint yellow tang of urine, the reek of feet and angst trailing me. I hear our door open and close as she attempts to follow me, but she has no hope in hell of catching up. I hear her breath coming in laboured gasps and after a flight of stairs, I do not hear her at all.

Please share the link to your teaser in the comments below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (August 15)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS

It seems that this week everyone has been tempting me with brilliant sounding books, I have resisted plenty but the following where the temptation was just too strong.

Liz Loves Books had a fascinating interview with the author of The Dark Meadow, Andrea Maria Schenkel that convinced me that I needed a copy of this book.

The Dark Meadow

Blurb

Bavaria, Germany, 1947
At the end of the war, Afra Zauner returns to her parents’ cottage on the edge of Mauther Forest. Unmarried, and pregnant. As she struggles to raise her child, her father’s shame, her mother’s fury and the loud whispers of the neighbours begin to weigh upon her. She doesn’t believe in her sin. But everyone else does.
And someone brings judgement down upon her.
Many years later, Hermann Müller is throwing a drunk out of his tavern. A traveller, who won’t stop ranting about a murder left unsolved, about police who never investigated. Out of curiousity, the file is reopened. And in the cold light of hindsight, a chilling realisation creeps upon the community.
No-one ever atoned for Afra’s death. But her story is waiting to be told.
Andrea Maria Schenkel returns to the form of her groundbreaking The Murder Farm, narrating through suspects, victims and investigators to lead the reader to their own awful understanding NetGalley

Read Liz’s interview and review here

The Night Hunter by Caro Ramsay due to be published in November caught my eye as I enjoyed Singing to the Dead

The Night Hunter

Blurb

Elvie McCulloch’s sister Sophie has been missing for 57 days. She went out for a run – and never came home. Several young woman in the area have disappeared in similar circumstances, and Elvie’s family fears the worst.
As Elvie is driving to her new job late at night, the naked, emaciated body of a young woman crashes from high above onto an oncoming car. Elvie recognises her as Lorna Lennox, who has been missing for weeks. But why was she up there? Where had she been all this time? And why was she running for her life?
Teaming up with retired detective Billy Hopkirk, who has been retained by the mother of one of the missing girls to find her daughter, Elvie determines to find out the truth. But as the pair alternately collaborate with and infuriate investigating police detectives Anderson and Costello, they find themselves up against a terrifying enemy. Someone who has killed before. Someone who will kill again, for pure enjoyment. Someone they call The Night Hunter. NetGalley

I have a copy of The Stolen Girl by Renita D’Silva and I know I will love this after reading the enchanting Monsoon Memories and The Forgotten Daughter

The Stolen Girl

Blurb

For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, it’s always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else.
Then, in an instant, Diya’s fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby…
Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister. NetGalley

And lastly I chose something for some lighter reading; Hello From The Gillespies by Monica McInerney which is due to be published in November by Penguin Books (UK)

Hello from the Gillispies

Blurb

Angela Gillespie has been pretending that her family is perfect for the last 30 years. And she is tired of it. This year she needs to tell it how it is.
Angela’s husband is in the throes of a mid-life crisis. Her grown-up daughters are more out of control than ever. And her youngest child spends all of his time talking to an imaginary friend. With fantasy thoughts of a life before marriage and motherhood becoming more than just an innocent daydream, Angela’s real life is slowly slipping out of focus. But, as the repercussions of her too truthful Christmas letter keep coming, perhaps she should have been careful what she wished for… NetGalley

Please share your finds with me because I am always on the look out for another good read and without your help I may miss something amazing.