Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Midnight Rose by Lucinda Rice

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 remarkable girl, Anahita Chaval, 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 Indian royalty. As the princess' official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of WorldWar I. There, she meets young Donald Astbury; reluctant heir to the magnificent, remote Astbury Estate and his scheming mother.

Ninety 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 is relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to a distant corner of the English countryside. 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 multilayered, heartbreaking tale filled with unforgettable characters caught in the sweep of history, The Midnight Rose is Lucinda Riley at her most captivating and unforgettable.

Paperback, 496 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Atria Books (first published August 29th 2013) 
ARC provided via netgalley (free of charge) for a honest review

Isn't that a gorgeous cover?  There is that Gothic, mysterious feel to it.  I love covers and 
have been known to pick up a book just because I love the cover, never reading what the
book is actually about.    

Lately I have been reading more dual time period books (because they are a favorite), this
one beginning in India, with a large part taking place in England.  First introduced to Anahita 
on her 100th birthday it wasn't hard to sympathize with her as she begins her story.  I have to
say that I really enjoyed the 'past' storyline.  It felt genuine, believable and emotional.  How
a world war, friendships, a mothers love (actually more like control) can shape ones future 
and do so much damage.  

The modern day storyline didn't cut it for me.  Rebecca Bradley is a world famous actress,
I couldn't connect with her.  She wasn't given the chance to share her background and 
there was no real opportunity to get to know her better.  The encounters that she  had
lacked depth and feeling.   Its a long book with almost 500 pages and honestly I think 
she could have been excluded and the book would have been a 5 star for me.  The ending 
was rushed and kinda weird.

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