In the heyday of the British Raj, Anahita becomes Princess Indira’s official companion, and accompanies her to England just before the outbreak of the Great War. There, she meets the young Donald Astbury – reluctant heir to a magnificent, estate – and his scheming mother. Eighty years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. Her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, takes her to the now-crumbling Astbury Hall…
©2014 Lucinda Riley (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd
‘Atmospheric, heart-rending and multi-layered’ (GRAZIA on The Girl on the Cliff)
Fair to middle... It was a good way to while the time cleaning my house, and I learned something about the era by listening to it, but I grew annoyed by some of the characters and plot twists.
Frustrated and eyeball rolling. Cop out on one of the loose ends being unresolved. But all the other loose ends tying so well together (especially in the epilogue) kind of ruined the book for me.
I'm sorry to say this but the American accent was awful and horribly distracting. She sounded like she'd studied old John Wayne movies to get her pronunciation for all the American characters.
Gosh, my heart breaks for Anahita and Donald. They've been through so much and in the end they didn't even get to be together. At least there is something for Rebecca and Ari. A wonderful story. I recommend it to all.
Lucinda Riley is the best. This was an amazing story of love overcoming tragedy. I highly recommend it to everyone.
author & web developer
Enjoyed this but I fear I'm beginning to tire a bit of the formula this author seems to follow.
I read this book and hothouse flower right after each other and felt like I was reading the same book and could predict what was going to happen next.
Loved this book, have several Lucinda Riley books but not got around to reading them until now. Couldn't put this down, just kept listening as often as I could. Back and forward between India and England and set in two different eras, pulling threads together was so well done.
I've since read The Light Behind the Window, once again set over two different time periods - another winner. I am now going to read all of her books. If they are as good as the first two I have read, I'm in for a treat.
"Good story. Terrible British accents."
Great age-spanning story, from pre WWI India to modern England. Spoiled by frankly hilarious 'British regional' accents. If you get over that, the story is interesting and engaging.
"Very impressed wit the versatility of the narrator"
Although she didn't do male voices so well, she did a pretty decent job of American, Indian & British (different varieties of it). The story was engaging enough to keep me up one night too. Good job.
"A roller coaster of a story!"
Surprises, twists & turns
The way that the characters intertwined. The descriptive writing. India, Devon and Yorkshire!
Anahita - what an amazing woman!
Oh yes....but I also did not want it to end......
I have already recommended this book to many.
Relax into this story which made me laugh, cry and gasp in surprise.
A fabulous story
Anaheta [not sure of spelling]. She was someone I could relate to, and would like to be
Her accent, where necessary, made the story more intimate / personal. She brought it to life.
It brought out many emotions: anger at the injustices meted out, sadness and happiness throughout.
I would have liked a little more pause between change of scenes; however it didn't mar my enjoyment of the story. It was thoroughly enjoyable. Too long to listen to in one sitting, but I would have liked to.
Lucinda is a brilliant writer who mixes the past and present seamlessly. Her descriptions are so vivid that I could visualise myself in the places where the story took place.
The ending was a 'work of art'; totally did not see that coming!
"Very enjoyable book"
Well worth every minute, I thoroughly enjoyed the tangled story lines and look forward to readin more by this author
I was whisked away into the story every time I listened to it
Loved the story
A story I got completely immersed in and could think of nothing more than it for the few days I listened.
As a historical story set in India and England it is the first, and definitely not the last, of this type of novel I have enjoyed.
Anahita as a true, honest and intuitive character who's faith helped her through some difficult experiences is inspiring. The tragedy, even if it was expected, was no less heartbreaking to hear. The knowledge, beauty and experiences of a lifetime are amazing.
The strength of friendship between Anahita and Indira is powerful, in particular at the end of the novel when Indira becomes less of a princess and shows her power as a true friend.
A must read, with beautiful descriptions of the palaces and life in India in the 1910s, then England in the 1920s. A beautifully written novel tying the past and present together.
"Enjoyable family saga"
The narration was clear, the story easy to follow on audio and the characterisation was good.
Towards the end as the pieces of the story were fitting into place.
She makes it easy with some of the Indian place names and character names.
When the central character Ana returns to England after an absence of a year - can't say more without giving away the story.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit slow to start and tricky to learn who all the characters were in India, but then it focuses on two strands - a modern day story of Rebecca shooting a film at Astbury Hall and the diary telling Anahita's story. The only negative was a silly and strange development near the end with one of the characters - Lord Astbury who is hosting the film crew and Rebecca. I found it unbelievable and unnecessary. Overall however a great listen.
"Characters inconsistent, plot unbelievable"
A good start and strong characters with definite beliefs but I got slowly disillusioned as they became weaker to suit an almost too coincidental story. The characters started well but didn't stay true to their beginnings and got more and more mushy as the book progressed.
No not really as the story was quite simply not believeable and therefore quite frustrating. The last part just made me want to shout because the characters weren't true to themselves.
The Indian accent was a little English and the English a little un believeable and the American was just funny . Indeed finding out how the town Keighley is said would improve the narration- it's Like the boys name (Keith) not the girls (Keeley) !!
No, absolutely not.
The mystery behind the story was what kept me listening it's such a shame that the characters had to become so weak to make the process of dicovering the truth happen 90 years on. Anahita would never have waited, she was so strong, so that spoilt it for me because the whole story meant nothing. The villains of the piece never got their comeuppance either- shame.
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