Reviewed by Cora Linn
A lifelong passion. An endless search.
Spanning four generations, The Midnight Rose sweeps from the glittering palaces of the great maharajas of India to the majestic stately homes of England, following the extraordinary life of a girl, Anahita Chavan, from 1911 to the present day . . .
In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-year-old Anahita, from a noble but impoverished family, forms a lifelong friendship with the headstrong Princess Indira, the privileged daughter of rich Indian royalty. Becoming the princess's official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of the Great War. There, she meets the young Donald Astbury - reluctant heir to the magnificent, remote Astbury Estate - and his scheming mother.
Eighty years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. But when her turbulent relationship with her equally famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn, she's relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to the wilds of Dartmoor in England. Shortly after filming begins at the now-crumbling Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita's great-grandson, arrives unexpectedly, on a quest for his family's past. What he and Rebecca discover begins to unravel the dark secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty...
I'd like to say a huge thank you to fellow blogger Cora Linn at Tea Party Princess for offering to help me out with my backlog of reviews by doing a guest review for me of The Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley, here's her fantastic review...
5 Words: Beautiful, breath-taking, haunting, magical, heart-breaking.
Just... This book.
It's been one hell of a ride reading this. The Midnight Rose is the type of book you read slowly and devote time to. It makes you think. The writing is so beautiful, the story so magnificently crafted, that it takes your breath away.
I have to confess that I didn't like the beginning of this book. The first 100 pages or so are so, so different from the rest of the book. And I hated Ari. But by the end he'd developed and grown and changed so much.
But then the two stories started weaving together, and things got very interesting.
Anahita. Poor Anahita. This is her story more than anyone else's and I don't think I'll ever forget the story. As much as Rebecca was my favourite character for the first half of this book, Anahita is the one who really takes the spotlight.
This is a deep book, thoughtfully written and incredibly well researched. By turns it made my heart soar and then brought tears to my eyes. I don't think I can put into words just how amazingly beautiful this book is. Read it. Read it and weep.
The ending was one hell of a shocker, an excellent twist. And those last pages made me cry. What a ride. What a wonderful, haunting experience it was to read this book.
I'd like to thank Katie at Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of this book. Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback