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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Review: Meet Me in Bombay

Title: Meet Me in Bombay
Author: Jenny Ashcroft
Publisher: 26th November 2019 by Hachette
Pages: 370 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: India, historical fiction, historical romance, world war II
My Rating: 5 crowns

Bombay, 1913

Madeleine Bright is spending New Year's Eve wishing she were somewhere else. Her voyage to India to visit her parents should have been a great adventure, but that was before she had no choice except to stay.

Then at the stroke of midnight Maddy meets Luke Devereaux, and as the year changes so do their lives - forever. Bold and charismatic, Luke opens her eyes to the wonders of Bombay, while Maddy's beauty and vivacity captures his heart. Only her mother disapproves, preferring the devoted Guy Bowen as a match for her daughter.

But while Maddy and Luke are falling in love, the world is falling apart. War is on the horizon, and soon it's a question of when Luke will be called to fight, not if. They'll be continents apart, separated by danger and fear of the unknown, but bound by Luke's promise that they will meet again in Bombay...

MEET ME IN BOMBAY is a story of fierce love set against the exotic and colourful world of colonial Bombay and the tragedy of the First World War.

My Thoughts

Jenny Ashcroft ... thank you! Three for three! I have had the privilege of reading all of Jenny’s books and cannot recommend them highly enough to lovers of historical fiction. Each read has been evocative, transporting the reader to some distant and exotic time and place. This time, British India and Bombay of the early 20th century. 

"Are you waiting for me though, as l am waiting for you?
Are you thinking of me, in this moment?                           
He set down his pen, and sank his aching head in his hands.     
Are you even there at all?"

Meet Me in Bombay is superb historical fiction as Jenny is the master at moulding together place, time and feeling. At the heart of this story is the love of a lifetime between Maddy and Luke but of course, all of this is sadly at the start of 1914. So unfolding over a lifetime is their journey set against the background of war and the backdrop of Bombay.  The bulk of the read is sequential from their initial meeting with small jumps in the timeline to soldiers recovering from amnesia or shell shock, or in many instances, not recovering at all. This is a wonderful story of love and separation that, even though you may know where it is going, you will be compelled to follow along to the inevitable conclusion. 

Once again Jenny has written a tale that ticks all the boxes for me: exquisite writing, complex characters, a beautiful love story in an exotic, tropical setting. Filled to the brim with everything from the brutality of war, to passionate soul connections, to tragedy, heartbreak and finally hope - this is such a compelling read that it will stay with you long after you have turned the final page. 

"I want to sleep. When I sleep, I dream. And my dreams are all I have left of that other world. The one I know I once belonged to, with you.”  

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher Hachette Australia.


Mystica said...

This is a new book for me. Thanks for the review.

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