Book Title: Before The Rains
Author: Dinah Jefferies
Publisher: Viking Books
Publication Date: February 23rd 2017
Genre(s): Romance, Historical Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)
Format Received: ARC (Paperback)
Goodreads: 1930, Rajputana, India. Since her husband’s death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza’s only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she’s determined to make a name for herself.
But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince’s handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families – and society – think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what’s expected, or following their hearts.
My Review: I would like to thank Dinah Jefferies, Anna Ridley, Penguin Random House and Viking Books for allowing me the opportunity to read an ARC of Before The Rains. I can confirm that I chose to read this ARC and all opinions in this review are my own and are completely unbiased.
Now … Before The Rains. Honestly … I truly do not know where to begin. I finished this novel last night and I’ve not stopped thinking about it since. It is stunning and beautiful, yet at the same time harrowing and heart-breaking. I have had a lot of ‘oh my god’ moments at some of the horrific events that have happened, but also ‘oh my god’ moments that have made me smile and feel so happy that it allowed me to become lost in a world that I really believed was real.
The development of the characters, the setting and the storyline in Before The Rains is highly exquisite and the experience that Dinah has from living and visiting these places really shows in the way she tightly captures the culture. Her descriptions are so vivid that it is not like I am reading a book at all, but more like I am watching a film. It is an image playing out before my eyes and one that I cannot believe for one moment that I have imagined.
Dinah is so good at writing, that every time I read a novel she has written, I am transported to a time and place I truly want to remain a part of, I never want to leave, and this is one of the reasons I’ve taken much longer than usual to read Before The Rains as I knew the book hangover would grab me hard and it has. I didn’t want to finish this book, nor did I want it to end – I wanted it to go on forever, especially the story of Eliza and Jay – it grabbed me like no other.
About the Author: Dinah Jefferies was born in Malaysia and moved to England at the age of nine. Her idyllic childhood always held a special place in her imagination, and when she began writing novels in her sixties, she was able to return there – first in her fiction and then on annual research trips for each new novel. Dinah is the author of four novels and is currently writing her fifth. The Tea Planter’s Wife was a Sunday Times number one bestseller.