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Before investing 15+ hours in this book, do know that the plot lines will not be in the least bit resolved, but you'll just have been set up for book 2 (and maybe 3, I don't know). Having said that, I very much enjoyed the book. The author does not betray any great in-depth knowledge of Indian topography, flora, or culture; that aspect is a little disappointing. Nor, despite the continuous references to tea throughout the story, does she enlighten us about what makes for a good tea, or the nuances of its production, blending, and distribution. The story, while set initially in India, quickly transitions to Newcastle, England, and remains firmly there for the rest of the book. The primary story, perhaps, is that of two sisters struggling against some rather cruel and unfortunate strokes of fate, and by dint of the elder sister's doggedness and tenacity, managing to overcome them. The story is an epic one, beginning in the protagonist's early adulthood and continuing through (at the end of book 1) to her being age 33. The follow-on will surely take us through another decade or two. It is very much an old-fashioned type story, with many fortuitous coincidences that stretch one's credulity and a predictability that becomes evident from the first few chapters. Yet it is endlessly varied and kept fresh, as new characters come and old ones fade out, and there is constant drama and tension that keep you wanting to move forward.
A word on the performance: not very well done, I'm afraid. The reader over-enunciates and her sense of timing is frequently dead wrong and inappropriate to the context of what is being said. Her rendering of male voices is clumsy and unconvincing; most of them sound badly constipated and stiff as wood. Indian characters are not realistic sounding, but she does sound plausible with her north English lower class accents. Fortunately, the plot carries the listener forward and one learns to overlook the weakness of the reading.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I love historical fiction. This book was wonderful I couldn't put it down. I found myself in tears at the end! I am looking forward to reading the next two books in the series. The narrator was amazing and brought the characters to life.
This story is like a mind numbing soap opera. Too much drama, too many complications, which tells you that the writer has tried to stretch a story too far.
My advise for most men Stay Away.....
a pretty story but woefully predictable from the word go. follows a typical romantic plot
I liked the story line but it didn't hold me captivated throughout. I have to admit I skipped along in some chapter's as I felt it rambled before the ending. Story could have been shortened and kept sharper keeping the same twists and turns but cutting out menial tasks or coversations of characters.
But overall a cute love story. I may still read the second book.
A true historical romance. A bit predictable but still I didn't want it to end.