Today I have two excellent reviews from my dear friend Tracy, focusing on Christine Lindsay’s Twilight of the British Raj series. Enjoy!
Shadowed in Silk
She was invisible to those who should have loved her. After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India, where her husband is stationed with the British army. She has longed to go home to the land of glittering palaces and veiled women . . . but Nick has become a cruel stranger and a cruel father to their three-year old son. It will take more than her American pluck to survive.
Major Geoff Richards, broken over the loss of so many of his men in the trenches of France, returns to his cavalry post in Amritsar. His faith does little to help him understand the ruthlessness of his British peers toward the Indian people he loves. Nor does it explain how he is to protect Abby Fraser and her child from the husband who mistreats them.
Amid political unrest, inhospitable deserts, and Russian spies, tensions rise in India as the people cry for the freedom espoused by Gandhi. Caught between their own ideals and duty, Geoff and Abby stumble into sinister secrets . . . secrets that will thrust them out of the shadows and straight into the fire of revolution.
What I thought:
Christine Lindsay expertly guides her readers on an adventure into historical British colonial India in Shadowed in Silk, the first absorbing instalment of her ‘Twilight of the British Raj’ series. Her prowess as an author is clearly on display as she weaves together culture, history and characters so realistic I felt like I was right there with them.
I found the characters of Shadowed in Silk drew me in and had me completely invested very quickly. Abby was beautifully portrayed. As she returns to the land of her heart and eagerly anticipates reunion with her husband her confusion and disappointment is palpable. It is in these early pages that Nick’s true self begins to be revealed and the distasteful man he truly is becomes more obvious as time goes by. Lindsay develops the tension between the two and Abby’s bewilderment at her unexpected circumstances and I found myself willing Abby to take a stand. I fell in love with Eshana (Abby’s nanny) for her faith-filled wisdom, and Geoff (Abby’s travel escort and newfound friend) for his chivalrous loyalty. Each of these characters adds depth to the story that weave together to make Shadowed in Silk the brilliant story that it is.
Against the exotic location of historical India the plot forShadowed in Silk is engaging and weaves together threads of political history, personal challenges for each of the characters and ominous secrets that could easily see any one of the characters in mortal danger. Desperate to find out who the gun smuggler was, and who the Englishman imposter might be I was reluctant to put this book down until I finally learnt all the answers.
Shadowed in Silk is the perfect blend of mystery, history and gentle romance. As well as these pivotal elements the faith story of the characters reminded me that God’s grace flows in our lives no matter how terrifying the circumstances might appear. When we trust our circumstances and our future to His almighty and loving hands we can be assured of God’s promise to care for all our needs, big and small.
I can’t wait to delve into the second installment, Captured by Moonlight as this enthralling series continues.
Laine takes a new nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancé is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her years ago. Why, then, is she still drawn to him, and to the tiger cub he is raising?Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts whether freedom will ever again be in her future, much less the forbidden love that had begun to whisper to her. Is faith enough to live on? Or is her Savior calling her home?
Amid cyclones and epidemics, clashing faiths and consequences of the war, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?
What I thought:
Captured by Moonlight is the second gripping instalment of Christine Lindsay’s “Twilight of the British Raj” series. This second book follows Eshana’s next season and focuses on Abby’s friend, Laine Harkness, as she escapes from Amritsar and those who seek to punish the British woman who stole one of the temple girls.I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Laine better, after meeting her in Shadowed in Silk. Laine is a complex character whom Lindsay portrays brilliantly. Her grit and determination are threaded with the colours of old wounds and a delicate tenderness that makes her a diligent, skilled nurse. She works and fights hard, and cares deeply. I felt like I was right in the room every time Laine and Adam were together and Laine’s inner turmoil was palpable.
I was particularly taken with Eshana’s journey throughout this book. I’m not sure I would have endured all she did with such grace and dignity, especially when treated with such disrespect. Eshana’s circumstances reminded me of the apostle Paul and his willingness to surrender his will to God’s purposes. I loved the little rays of sunshine that Eshana’s visitor, Ruchi bring to her whilst she is imprisoned. She infused a sense of brightness and hope that balanced the darkness of those days for Eshana.
As well as beautifully depicted characters this book is awash with mystery, intrigue and life-threatening events. Christine Lindsay’s ingenious craftsmanship as a storyteller is clearly obvious as she develops her characters as well as the plot lines that had me completely and fully engaged. There was just no way to extricate myself from this story, even when asleep! I was desperate to know if the cholera epidemic would be contained, and whether my favourite characters were safe. I wondered if Laine and Adam would ever be able to heal the wounds between them. The mystery behind the men living on Adam’s plantation simply had to be resolved!
I am incredibly impatient to read the third and final instalment of this series, Veiled at Midnight, which is scheduled to release in August this year. If the first two books are any indication Christine Lindsay will again weave her literary excellence and all my remaining questions will be delightfully resolved.
Guest reviewer: My friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence
With thanks to the author for the provision of Tracy’s review copies