Wow what a weekend! And it's only half over! I've been indulging in my other passion this weekend--baking--making a baby shower cake with my buddy Eileen. I didn't realize piping icing could be such hard work! But it was well worth it! I think tomorrow I'm going to give myself a break and focus on reading, which I'm woefully behind on here at the end of June.
But for now, a book that I think would make a pretty fun summer read, Julia Gregson's "East of The Sun". I find that I'm often drawn to books set in the far east, and I really liked the angle in this book--British expats, looking for meaning in their lives in India as the empire begins to unwind. Check out my review below!
Julia Gregson's "East of the Sun" follows three young English women to India in 1928. Rose is set to be married to Jack, a young army officer. Tor, is hoping to find a husband to escape her awful mother. And Viva is returning to the country where she spent her youth, looking for adventure and hoping to quiet the ghosts of her family members who died in India long ago. Over nearly 600 pages these women find love, danger, excitement but most of all friendship, as they transition from young women into adults, all as Britain's imperial power begins to wind down in a bittersweet way. This book is really a page turner, and pulls you in right from the first chapter. Although the book captures the stories of all three women, it is mostly about Viva, who's complicated life makes for fascinating reading as she fights her instincts and emotions to make peace with herself in India. The whole novel is richly drawn, and I felt like I could see all of the different settings as the women move around the Indian subcontinent. Gregson also does a wonderful job of mixing in the larger societal context of the time--you get a sense of the poverty and political unrest in India, and how it effects the British expats running the country. If you're interested in India, or in the experience of British expats, I would recommend this book to you. Or if you're just looking for an interesting story of women's lives, this is a good one!