Thursday, June 04, 2009

New this Week: East of the Sun by Julia Gregson

Julia Gregson’s debut novel puts one instantly in mind of The Far Pavilions, M.M. Kaye’s epic 1978 novel of mid-19th century India. While there are similarities, they are largely on the surface. As befits its early 20th century setting and the sharp, smart voice of its journalist author, East of the Sun (Touchstone Fireside) takes a grittier run at India during the time of the British Raj. It’s an enjoyable and transporting experience.

East of the Sun introduces us to Viva Holloway who travels to India in the fall of 1928 aboard the Kaisar-l-Hind as chaperone to a young bride on her way to marry a man she barely knows, and her two friends.

East of the Sun was a Richard and Judy pick in the UK last summer, where the book became an instant bestseller under the duo’s Oprah-like bounce. It seems likely that, now that the book is available in North America, it will continue to stun readers on the far side of the pond.

Gregson delivers 1928 India in livid, vivid color. East of the Sun is a fantastic book, one that endures in the mind long after the final page is turned.

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Blogger I Am The Russian Queen said...

oh dear. Guess i better read it only b/c these sorts of books make me verrrry queasy. I hope hope that the reviewer and the writer of "East" will have read Paul Scott's the Raj Quartet. I don't think you can write about "India/the Raj" without...and come to think of it, hope Amitav Ghosh's Sea of Poppies was at least in the author's horizons?

Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 12:00:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So glad to see this book mentioned here. I read it upon initial publication and adored it. My experience was just as Ms. Stark describes: I kept thinking of the book long after I'd last put it down.

Celia Lambert, Milton Keynes

Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 12:19:00 PM PDT  

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