"The Midnight Rose" by Lucinda Riley
Eleven-year-old Anahita Chavan finds her life is about to change when she befriends Princess Indira, the daughter of Indian royalty. Her own family is noble but impoverished and her friendship with Indira opens a new world to her as she becomes the princess’ companion. But it is when the two girls leave India and head to England for school that Anahita’s life really takes a turn.
It is there that she meets Donald Astbury, a reluctant heir to a declining fortune, and his mother who will do everything she can to keep control over the estate. Donald and Anahita fall passionately in love and following the end of World War 1, they make plans to spend their lives together, no matter what society thinks. But unfortunately, it is not meant to be.
Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has arrived in England to star in a period film as a 1920’s debutante. Thrilled to be away from the paparazzi, she settles into Astbury Hall, a now crumbling manor in the countryside. But she soon discovers that all is not as it seems when the arrival of Ari Malik and his great-grandmother’s life story starts to unravel many of the secrets that lie within the walls of Astbury. And Rebecca’s resemblance to one of the manor’s matriarchs may bring more trouble than she is expecting.
The Midnight Rose is a sweeping novel by Lucinda Riley, a heartbreaking tale of love and loss that spans a century and continents. Readers will fall in love with Anahita Chavan, a strong young woman who follows her heart no matter where it takes her. Travelling between early 20th century India and England, as well as modern-day England, the book transports you back to the place and time, and sweeps you up in an incredible story.
I’ll say this, I rarely stay up late in the night reading. I need my eight hours of sleep every night and I’m always very good about putting my book down when it’s time. But this book kept me up late quite a few nights, I just couldn’t put it down, especially the night that I finished it. I absolutely loved everything about this book.
Every character in this book had me hooked, they are so well written. Anahita is a beautiful character, with a great story and a charm that jumps off of the page. Every character that factors into her story and who is trying to piece together her life is well-written and well-used. No character or storyline felt extra to the book and everything fits together like a puzzle to bring the time period to life. Readers can feel themselves in India or England with the rich descriptions and beautiful writing.
This is a big book but you wouldn’t know it while reading. The story flows from page to page and before you know it, you are through it. This is the first book I have read by Lucinda Riley and given the impact it has had on me I will definitely be looking for her other books.
There is so much to say about this book and yet the words escape me. This is just one of the books for me that is absolutely stunning from beginning to end. I finished the book with tears in my eyes, both happy and sad at how everything came together.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada. The opinions expressed above are my own.