Author: Julia Gregson
Published by: Touchstone on Aug. 9, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Touchstone, NetGalley
Book Rating: 8.5/10
By the award-winning author of East of the Sun, an epic love story moving from England to India, about the forbidden love between a young Indian doctor and an English midwife.
Oxfordshire, 1947. Kit Smallwood, hiding a painful secret and exhausted from nursing soldiers during the Second World War, escapes to Wickam Farm where her friend is setting up a charity sending midwives to the Moonstone Home in South India.
Then Kit meets Anto, an Indian doctor finishing his medical training at Oxford. But Kit’s light skinned mother is in fact Anglo-Indian with secrets of her own, and Anto is everything she does not want for her daughter.
Despite the threat of estrangement, Kit is excited for the future, hungry for adventure, and deeply in love. She and Anto secretly marry and set off for South India—where Kit plans to run the maternity hospital she’s helped from afar.
But Kit’s life in India does not turn out as she imagined. Anto’s large, traditional family wanted him to marry an Indian bride and find it hard to accept Kit. Their relationship under immense strain, Kit’s job is also fraught with tension as they both face a newly independent India, where riots have left millions dead and there is deep-rooted suspicion of the English. In a rapidly changing world, Kit’s naiveté is to land her in a frightening and dangerous situation…
Based on true accounts of European midwives in India, Monsoon Summer is a powerful story of secrets, the nature of home, the comforts and frustrations of family, and how far we’ll go to be with those we love.
This is an intelligent and compelling story that I won’t soon forget.
It is the story of Kit, a young, British nurse who falls in love with a charismatic, Indian doctor, Anto, and travels with him to India, where she hopes to not only be a worthy wife, but also establish a reputable midwifery for those in need.
The story is predominantly set in India during the late 1940s, when the country had newly acquired independence and their separation from British rule caused inner turmoil and a widespread rebuke of the British people as a whole.
This is, ultimately, a story about familial dynamics, racism, deception, self discovery, determination, strength, loss, and love.
The prose is clear, precise, and remarkably descriptive. And the characters are empathetic, engaging, and multifaceted.
This is truly an interesting story that is intriguing from the beginning to the very end.
This book is due to be published on August 9, 2016.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.
Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Canada
Thank you to NetGalley, especially Touchstone, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.