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The Midnight Rose    by Lucinda Riley order for
Midnight Rose
by Lucinda Riley
Order:  USA  Can
Atria, 2014 (2014)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Spinning a tale set both in India in the time of the maharajahs four generations ago and in England in one of today's crumbling former stately homes, The Midnight Rose is an engrossing work of fiction.

Anahita, a fatherless eleven-year-old, is taken in by the Maharani of Cooch Behar as a companion to her own daughter, Indira. They form a true life-long friendship. When the young princess must go to school in England she insists Anahita accompany her, and here is where Anahita first experiences prejudice as well as love. As her great-grandson tries to make sense of a document given him by Anahita before she dies in India, he ends up at the long-neglected Astbury Hall where a movie being filmed brings not only life to the place but also allows light to be shed on long-kept secrets.

Full of interesting characters and descriptions of Anahita's and Indira's adventures in India and England, the novel also delves into generations-long connections among the British peers, manor workers and the professionals who serve them, and the value of memory, whether orally transmitted or documented in historical records. The ending may be a bit fanciful and may tie things up a bit too readily, but it is satisfying nevertheless.

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