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Louise Brown has lived in Nepal and travelled extensively in India, sparking her enduring love of South Asia. She was a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Asian Studies at the University of Birmingham, where she worked for nearly twenty years. In research for her critically acclaimed non-fiction books she's witnessed revolutions and even stayed in a Lahore brothel with a family of traditional courtesans. Eden Gardens is her debut novel. Louise has three grown-up children and lives in Birmingham.
Photo credit: Aimee Spinks
Ellie Jeffreys arrives in Darjeeling with her British husband, en route to Kathmandu. They have ten-month-old, golden-haired twins, and despite appearing to be a happy family, Ellie's relationship with the overbearing, philandering Francis is disintegrating. At a cocktail party, Ellie meets Hugh Douglas, a maverick explorer and botanist. Despite the rumours surrounding Hugh, Ellie is drawn to him. A year later, Nepal is devastated by a catastrophic earthquake and in a falling building, Ellie is forced to make an instant, and terrible, decision: she has time to save only one of her children. When she returns for her son's body the next day, it has gone. Ellie knows he cannot have disappeared; someone, somewhere has her child, and it is to Hugh that she turns for help.
Ellie Jeffreys arrives in Darjeeling with her British husband, en route to Kathmandu. They have ten-month-old, golden-haired twins, and despite appearing to be a happy family, Ellie's relationship with the overbearing, philandering Francis is disintegrating. At a cocktail party, Ellie meets Hugh Douglas, a maverick explorer and botanist. Despite the rumours surrounding Hugh,Ellie is drawn to him. A year later, Nepal is devastated by a catastrophic earthquake and in a falling building, Ellie is forced to make an instant, and terrible, decision: she has time to save only one of her children. When she returns for her son's body the next day, it has gone. Ellie knows he cannot have disappeared; someone, somewhere has her child, and it is to Hugh that she turns for help.
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Longlisted for the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown Award Longlist 2016. A vividly striking and entirely captivating debut novel set in Calcutta, covering both the Second World War and Indian Independence during the 1940’s. Beautiful adventurous Maisy and loyal, knowing ayah Pushpa tell their own tales, which are inextricably linked to each other. Maisy’s Mam ‘entertains’ army officers, yet she has big dreams for her daughter, as Maisy becomes a woman, their world starts to crumble. Louise Brown writes with the lightest of touches, yet is able to convey earthy, vibrant tones with an expressive eloquence. There are occasional moments of heart wrenching savagery, described by a character in such an unaffected, matter of fact way, that the thrust travels all the more intensely. My imagination soaked up this moving tale, the emotion it generated constantly surprising as I found myself transported to an exotically precarious world. A 'Piece of Passion' from the Publisher... 'I’d challenge almost anyone not to be seduced by Louise Brown’s spellbinding debut novel, EDEN GARDENS. It’s the story of Maisy, who has no chance of growing up a nice British colonial girl. Her mother is a prostitute and alcoholic, and when Maisy is seduced at sixteen by her Indian tutor, her life changes forever, for better and for worse. Set in the closing days of the British Raj period, EDEN GARDENS tells of another side of British India, a world of castes, secrets, politics, ambition, and love of a different kind.What sets it apart from me is the incredibly vivid sense of location, from the backstreets of the shared housing in Calcutta to the colonial bungalows beautifully wrapped by their flower-filled gardens – both dwellings are places that provide comfort and yet entrapment, too. The author also delves into some very serious issues simmering beneath the love story that arcs over the novel. It portrays an alternative story to the usual stories of dusty haired, bored British Colonial wives. It's colourful, rich in detail, probing in subject matter and beautifully researched. Ultimately, it is a love story, but it’s also a story of survival, told in the most entrancing way.' ~ Imogen Taylor, Publishing Director, Headline
People say that nothing prepares you for parenthood. Now think of that unpreparedness... and double it. The growing numbers of twin parents soon realise that the best people to speak to are others who have been there. Be Ready to Parent Twins is a no-holds-barred guide to how to prepare and survive pregnancy and the first year, sharing the experience and expertise of Dr Ella Rachamim and twin buddy Louise Brown alongside first-hand accounts of many other parents they have surveyed, interviewed and met. However they managed, they've all been through it and are still standing and smiling (or lying down - give them a break, sleep deprivation is real).
Eden Gardens, Calcutta, the 1940s. In a ramshackle house, streets away from the grand colonial mansions of the British, live Maisy, her Mam and their ayah, Pushpa. Whiskey-fuelled and poverty-stricken, Mam entertains officers in the night - a disgrace to British India. All hopes are on beautiful Maisy to restore their good fortune. But Maisy's more at home in the city's forbidden alleyways, eating bazaar food and speaking Bengali with Pushpa, than dancing in glittering ballrooms with potential husbands. Then one day Maisy's tutor falls ill. His son stands in. Poetic, handsome and ambitious for an independent India, Sunil Banerjee promises Maisy the world. So begins a love affair that will cast her future, for better and for worse. Just as the Second World War strikes and the empire begins to crumble... This is the other side of British India. A dizzying, scandalous, dangerous world, where race, class and gender divide and rule.
The Asian sex trade is often assumed to cater predominantly to foreigners. SEX SLAVES turns that belief on its head to show that while western sex tourists have played a vital part in the growth of the industry, the primary customers of Asia's indentured sex workers and of its child prostitutes are overwhelmingly Asian men. Here are the voices of some of the world's most silent and abused women - women who have been forced into prostitution by the men they trust. This is their story: about the journey from home to captivity; the horrors of 'seasoning' for prostitution; and the hidden life within the brothel.