So let me start by saying if I ever wrote a list of books you had to read in your lifetime this would probably get the third place (after Gone With the Wind and The Far Pavilions), it is just THAT good. Lucinda Riley is slowly becoming one of my favourite authors and I can’t wait to see what her other novels entail.
The Midnight Rose spans almost 100 years and is taken around the world; from India to Paris, New York and of course Devon. Riley’s writing is so enthralling that I finished the book in less than 2 days, reading over 400 pages in just a few hours.
The tagline of the novel is
A lifelong passion. An endless search
and this is exactly what it is. A mother’s endless search for the son she refuses to believe is dead and the passion she passed down through generations ending with her great grandson Ari.
I’m still debating whether I chose to read this story because it begins in India, and it really does outline 1920’s India under the rule of the British Raj. However whilst this does play an important role it is not the main focus of the novel, instead it is of Indian royalty and the hardships it’s women faced in regard to money, power and marriage. Writing my university dissertation on a subject similar to this I’m able to understand the plight of the Indian women and triumph in their victories with them.
But, that brings me to the other side to the story, modern day 2011 England and the contrast the women, Indians and rich portray. This part of the story has no main character, instead it focuses around Astbury Hall and the inhabitants who visit it; if for a day, week or lifetime. If I’m being honest I am the biggest baby when it comes to things creeping me out and I have to say one part of the 2011 story freaked me out so much – but I’m not sure if that’s because of how unexpected it was or because of how well Riley was able to present her story.
All in all I’m gonna end by saying The Midnight Rose is a story told so well it’ll appeal to so many audiences because it fits into so many genres; romance, travel writing, detective, adventure, mystery and a slight tone of fright.