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They called you the ‘problem child’ while you were still in my womb. ‘You’re carrying a girl, I just know it,’ my ma-in-law sighed, glaring at my distended stomach, her lips disappearing in disapproval. ‘A problem child, already causing you to be ill. You’re falling behind in your chores,’ she grumbled, her few remaining teeth clicking with ire.‘Problem child,’ her cronies, the other village matrons echoed, as they chewed paan and gossip under the mango trees. ‘Definitely a girl, and big with it,’ they twittered, their gleeful malice drowning out the birdsong. ‘No grandson for you,’ they told my ma-in-law, who emitted a put-upon groan. ‘Instead, a problem child.’‘Don’t pay them any heed,’ I whispered to you later that night as your father, snored beside me on the mat, while on the other side of the one-room hut, two arm-lengths and one sari-curtain-divider away, his parents slept.‘You are my golden child.’ I murmured in the susurrating dark, fragranced by night jasmine, punctuated by the drone of crickets, the whirr of mosquitoes, the rustle of nocturnal animals and the howl of neighbourhood dogs.Under my palm, in the waters of my womb, you danced assent.‘Problem child,’ they cursed in dismay when you were born. ‘Dark as foreboding and ugly with it. No hope for this one.’‘My golden child,’ I crooned when we were alone, marvelling at your bronzed radiance, your exquisite perfection. ‘Problem child,’ they said when, as a toddler, you scratched away at the pastes they applied to whiten your skin. It was the exact shade of cinnamon spiced coffee which I thought beautiful but they deemed too dusky for a girl, declaring that it would scare away prospective suitors in the future if something was not done to lighten it. ‘Problem child,’ they said when you ate food from your father’s plate, refusing to wait for your own meagre serving of leftovers, after he, as man, had been served first, the best and choicest morsels. ‘Problem child,’ they said when, in response to their sighs of: ‘With that dark colouring and chubby body, it will be near impossible to find you a suitable husband; you better go on a diet and apply skin lightening pastes’, you retorted, eyes flashing, ‘I will not as I don’t want to get married, ever.’I thought you looked stunning, fiery eyes glowing in a face bright with defiance and I told you so later, when we were alone, my golden child. ‘Problem child,’ they said when you vehemently vetoed their order, disguised as advice, that you give up your school learning to take up housekeeping and sewing classes.‘No man wants an over-educated wife,’ they snapped, angered by your disobedience. ‘You’re a handful as it is. Hai, we dread to think what ideas more studying will put into your already swollen head!’‘I don’t want to get married,’ you reiterated even though you knew they’d never take you seriously, as they just couldn’t fathom any woman desiring a future that didn’t include a husband and children.‘Problem child.’ They called to your retreating back as you flounced away.‘Do what you want to, go where your heart leads you, my golden child,’ I told you later, when we were alone. ‘Problem child,’ they cursed when you left the village to pursue your dreams of higher studies, to realise your ambition of making something of yourself instead of slotting into the too-small life of drudgery and servitude to a censorious husband and in-laws that they deemed right for you. They were shocked that you could want more, you of the dark skin and imperfect body, you mere woman. How dare you entertain ideas above your station, wish for more than your lot? ‘You will come to no good. Problem child.’ I was never a problem child. I did what was expected of me, married the man three times my age that they chose for me, and here I am still, doing their bidding, never a problem, never standing up to them, either on your behalf or mine, only cheering you on in secret, always dutiful, incredibly unhappy and unfulfilled. ‘Golden child,’ they exulted when you returned to the village a success story, the first woman CEO of a world-renowned multinational company. ‘Golden child,’ they sang as they thrust their ‘eligible’ sons at you; your complexion, your body, your many degrees from the best universities, no longer a problem but, all of a sudden, just right for their precious offspring. You looked over them, at me, your face softening as you smiled, your eyes shining with love. And in that moment, they finally saw what I had always known: how beautiful you were, how truly golden. You took me away from that village and my constrained, tiny life there, my golden child. You afforded me the golden future I had never dared dream of for myself, but had always envisioned, hoped and prayed for, for you.
An unforgettable and heart-wrenching story of love, betrayal and family secrets. In colonial India a young woman finds herself faced with an impossible choice, the consequences of which will echo through the generations1928. In British-ruled India, headstrong Sita longs to choose her own path, but her only destiny is a good marriage. After a chance meeting with a Crown Prince leads to a match, her familys status seems secured and she moves into the palace, where peacocks fill the gardens and tapestries adorn the walls. But royal life is far from simple, and her failure to provide an heir makes her position fragile. Soon Sita is on the brink of losing everything, and the only way to save herself could mean betraying her oldest friend2000. When Priyas marriage ends in heartbreak, she flees home to India and the palace where her grandmother, Sita, once reigned as Queen. But as grandmother and granddaughter grow closer, Priya has questions. Why is Sita so reluctant to accept that her royal status ended with Independence? And who is the mysterious woman who waits patiently at the palace gates day after day? Soon Priya uncovers a secret Sita has kept for years and which will change the shape of her life foreverA breathtaking journey through India from British rule to Independence and beyond; a world of green hills, cardamom-scented air, and gold thread glinting in the sun, brought to life by Renita DSilvas exquisite writing. If you love Kathryn Hughes, Dinah Jefferies or Kristin Hannah, this is the novel for you.What readers are saying about Beneath an Indian Sky:OMG The story takes on an unexpected, shocking twist I honestly think this is the author's best book ever!! It's just amazing, a rollercoaster of emotions, a kaleidoscope of colours I actually ended up with tears running down my cheeks That ending (WOW!) will remain imprinted on my mind for many years I really enjoyed this book Simply fantastic!!... Highly recommended!! Relax and Read Reviews, 5 starsBeyond anything I could have wished for What a truly incredible, sometimes shocking, and often emotional journey!... That ending!!! It is also my favourite book read this year so far I cannot recommend this book highly enough If youve enjoyed Renitas books before, youre going to LOVE this one. If youve never read any books by Renita, please, please, please read one of her books. I want more of you to experience her beautiful stories for yourselves. Little Miss No Sleep, 5 starsWow I am lost for words What a wonderful, beautifully written book If I could give this book 100 stars I would. Goodreads Reviewer, 5 starsLoved it! An enchanting read... Kept me gripped all the way to the end. Joanna Courtney, author of The Chosen QueenBreathtaking, positively breathtaking. As ever it was gorgeous, magical, touching, emotional I was entranced by the stories of Mary and Sita and barely looked up Kept me rooted to the page
How much would you sacrifice to save your family?1929. When a passionate love affair threatens to leave Lucy in disgrace, she chooses a respectable marriage over a life of shame. With her husband, coffee-plantation-owner James, she travels to her new home in India, leaving her troubled past behind her. Everything in India is new to Lucy, from the jewel-coloured fabrics to the exotic spices. When her path crosses that of Gowri, a young woman who tends the temple on the plantations edge, Lucy is curious to find out more about her, and the events that lead her to live in isolation from her family Now. With her career in shatters and her heart broken by the man she thought was her future, Kavya flees from bustling Mumbai to her home town. A crumbling temple has been discovered in a village nearby, and with it letters detailing its tragic history desperate pleas from a young woman called Gowri. As Kavya learns of Gowri and Lucys painful story, she begins to understand the terrible sacrifices that were made and the decision the two women took that changed their lives forever. Can the secrets of the past help Kavya to rebuild her life? A breath-taking journey through the rolling hills of India, deep into the secrets hidden within a family. For fans of Santa Montefiore, Dinah Jefferies and Victoria Hislop.Read what everyone is saying about A Daughters Courage:WOW!! I was absolutely blown away by this book and couldnt put it down. Im going straight to Amazon to buy another book by Renita DSilva I need more! Just incredible this is an absolutely stunning book which I cant praise enough. Roxanne Starr, 5 starsSo compelling I literally didnt want to put it down A sheer joy to read and I am putting myself out on a limb by saying this is the best book I have read in this genre this year A truly outstanding book. Best Crime Books and More, 5 starsEvery now and again a book comes along that I can't stop thinking about long after I've turned the last page. A Daughter's Courage was one of those books An absolutely beautiful story I really can't say anything that will adequately describe how much I enjoyed this book so I will just say that I highly recommend it I loved every minute of it. Twin Spin, 5 starsRenita DSilva has done it again Truly sensational story Stunning Remarkable and overwhelming Renitas words are like liquid gold This book even took over my dreams. My mind was completely mesmerised I cannot recommend this book enough. Little Miss No Sleep, 5 starsHeartrending... beautiful... a dream... I did not just love this book, I actually LIVED it. A Daughter's Courage is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. Relax and Read Book Reviews, 5 starsA story that will keep resonating in my head and heart for a long time It swept me away I cannot do anything but have praise for this book
What if you discovered that everything you knew about yourself was a lie?When pregnant Jaya loses her mother, then her baby son Arun in a tragic cot death, her world crashes down. Overcome by grief and guilt, she begins to search for answers to the enigma of her lonely, distant mother, and her mysterious past in India. Looking through her mothers belongings, she finds two diaries and old photographs, carrying the smoky aroma of fire. A young boy smiles out at Jaya from every photograph and in one, a family stand proudly in front of a sprawling mansion. Who is this child? And why did her mother treasure this memento of a regal family lost to the past? As Jaya starts to read the diaries, their secrets lead her back to India, to the ruin of a once grand house on a hill. There, Kali, a mad old lady, will unlock the story of a devastating lie and a fire that tore a family apart. Nothing though will prepare Jaya for the houses final revelation, which will change everything Jaya knew about herself. If you enjoy Dinah Jefferies, Lucinda Riley and Santa Montefiore, you will love this unforgettable journey through the lush landscape of India to the heart of what it means to be a mother and daughter.What everyone is saying about A Mothers Secret:5 out of 5 starsI read it in one shot because I couldnt bear to stopwhat I can promise you is that it is a great readA book that was an absolute pleasure to read. Any Excuse to ReadI loved this book, the descriptions of India, the mansion, the food and the people are swoon worthy. And the characters are so real, so believable, so frail and fraught with their own mistakes, I felt like I was an observer, watching real people as I read this book. For the Love of BooksI was hooked...I absolutely adored this bookThis won my heart5*. Lauras Book Blog CornerFrom the very beginning A Mothers Secret by Renita DSilva has rightfully bagged its place in my list of favourite booksThe character development is phenomenal and these are characters that will remain etched in my memory for a long timeDSilva weaves magic with her wordsTo say that DSilva is a brilliant writer would not be an exaggerationThere were times during the course of the story that I became aware of goosebumps on my skin because of the very raw emotionswonderful Indian Fiction for You Love, loss, deceit, envy, pride, heartache well-written, entertaining and satisfying. Janni Bs BooksRenitas wonderful writingradiates from the pagesan absorbing storya story that unfolded layer by layer into what proved to be a beautifully crafted piece of writing where the author laid bare her heart and soul on every pagehad me hooked throughouta remarkable booka feast for the senses and your imagination. I really was transportedonce it caught me in its hold it didnt let go until that jaw dropping moment near the very end that had me gasping out loud
A beautiful book that just oozes Indian atmosphere. It totally immerses you in the culture and makes you want to visit I loved this book. Bookworms and ShutterbugsTwo sisters. Bound by blood. Torn apart by love.My sister the glue that held our family together and the gatekeeper to the memories of our shared childhood.The girl I made a pact with to protect each other for life.The woman who destroyed my family, my future.And the only one who can save my daughter.Set against the dramatic backdrop of India, A Sisters Promise is a powerful, emotional tale of family secrets, love and the ties that bind sisters together.What readers are saying about A Sister's PromiseRenita D'Silva took me on an unforgettable, mesmerising journey spanning decades and continents. I found myself completely immersed in this story feeling all sorts of emotions such as happiness, sadness and anger. Not mentioning what I felt when I reached a mind-blowing twist. Relax and Read ReviewsWhat I can tell you is that the book took me on a journey, one that was filled with love, laughter and sadness all wrapped up into one. Renita has a magic ability to transport you in this case from London to India. I could almost smell the smells and see the sights. From the moment I was collared I didnt put the book down until I was finished. I can truly say I finished this book and felt breathless it left such an impact. I love the fact that you are reading about a different culture to the one here in England and the writing and storytelling was truly magnificent This was an exhilarating and emotional read that will leave you wanting more. Best Crime Books and More'What an utterly beautiful story written with elegance. Its a story of love, loss, sacrifice, and grace. DSilva paints a vivid picture of India: the beautiful colours, the pungent aromas, and the poverty. She will envelope you into the lives of these two women, sharing in their loss of one another. Jewels Eclectic BooksI can only describe A Sisters Promise as being a wonderfully gentle read. The story is beautifully written and though told through alternating chapters by mainly Puja, Sharda and Kushi, one of the sisters daughters, it is easy to read. Through the sisters stories we are transported to India with the heat, sounds and smells. By the Letter Book ReviewsIndia comes to vivid and sensual life in this book about love, betrayal and forgiveness Books for Avid ReadersRenita D'Silva is a genius at evoking the sounds, sights and aromas of India. A major new talent - I can't wait for her next novel.' Linda Kavanagh Renita DSilva is a wonderful author who has a natural gift at storytelling that truly impressed and awed me. Novel Escapes Renita paints the most beautiful images with a few, perfectly chosen words. KimTalksBooks.com
Monsoon Memories is an unforgettable journey through a mesmerizing, passionate land of contrasts with a family whose story will touch your heart.Anyone who enjoys the storytelling of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain, Heather Gudenkauf or Dorothy Koomson will love Monsoon Memories.from start to finish I loved this book and couldn't recommend it more. NovelEscapes.comExiled from her family in India for more than a decade, Shirin and her husband lead a comfortable but empty life in London. Memories of her childhood exotic fragrances, colours, stifling heat and tropical storms fill Shirin with a familiar and growing ache for the land and the people that she loves. With the recollections though, come dark clouds of scandal and secrets. Secrets that forced her to flee her old life and keep her from ever returning.Thousands of miles away, in Bangalore, the daughter of Shirins brother discovers a lost, forgotten photograph. One that has escaped the flames. Determined to solve the mystery of an aunt she never knew, Reenas efforts will set in place a chain of events that expose the painful trauma of the past and irrevocably change the path of the future.Praise for Monsoon MemoriesD'Silva weaves a tale so rich and complex in detail and history that I found it quite impossible to put the book down. The characters really came to life for me and I grew attached and invested in them and what was going to happen. The details are rich, vivid and so well described that I truly felt at times that I was there or at least was hearing the story first hand from the main character... from start to finish I loved this book and couldn't recommend it more. 5/5.NovelEscapes.comIt mesmerized me with its poignant narration and heart-warming storyand kept me hooked until the last page. 9/10.ChickLitClub.comA wonderfully dramatic and poignant debut novel from Renita DSilva. I was captivated by the characters and their plight. I was intrigued by what deep secret could have torn the family apart. What caused Shirin so much grief that she was haunted by the Eyes that would follow her during her daydreams and nightmares? My heart broke for Shirin, she exiled herself to the UK but longed for her family in India but wondered if they could ever forgive her. I could empathize with young Reena, an only child in India, who stumbled on a photograph of this forgotten woman and was determined to find out more about her. I simply could not put this book down and although I figured out the secret about half way through, I had to know what would happen and if the family could resolve their issues.Momssmallvictories.coma really moving and poignant story. Novelicious.comFull of gorgeously crafted settings and descriptions, youll be pulled into this lush novel. Renita paints the most beautiful images with a few, perfectly chosen words. Monsoon Memories is a book to fall in love with.KimTalksBooks.comMonsoon Memories by Renita DSilva is an honest, captivating peek at the human heart, the haunting power of memories and the fierce power of truth
Your mother has been arrested. She stole you.For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, its always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else. Then, in an instant, Diyas fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a babyVani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her own childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister.Told through the eyes of Diya, Vani and Aarti, this is a heart-breaking story of friendship and betrayal, love and motherhood, which asks the question; how far would you go to protect your only child?The Stolen Girl is an emotional, culturally rich and utterly compelling read from the new must-read name in women's fictionRenita D'Silva.What people are saying about Renita DSilva:With a heart-breaking story, wonderful characters and such raw emotion DSilva had me hooked. A beautiful story. Best Books to ReadRenita D'Silva is a genius at evoking the sounds, sights and aromas of India. A major new talent- I can't wait for her next novel.' Linda Kavanagh Renita DSilva is a wonderful author who has a natural gift at storytelling that truly impressed and awed me. Novel Escapes Renita paints the most beautiful images with a few, perfectly chosen words. KimTalksBooks.comThe Stolen Girl is a heart-breaking story about friendship, betrayal, possessiveness, love and motherhood. 5/5 A Lover of Books
You were adopted.Three simple words, in a letter accompanying her parents' will, tear Nishas carefully ordered world apart. Raised in England, by her caring but emotionally reserved parents, Nisha has never been one to take risks.Now, with the scrawled address of an Indian convent begins a search for the mother and family she never knew and the awakening of childhood memories long forgotten.The secrets, culture and people that Nisha discover will change her life forever. And, as her eyes are opened to a side of herself she didnt know existed, Nisha realizes that she must also seek answers to the hardest question of all why? Weaving together the stories of Nisha, Shilpa and Devi, The Forgotten Daughter explores powerfully and poignantly the emotional themes of motherhood, loss and identity ultimately asking the question of what you would do out of love for your children?Praise for Renita DSilvaRenita D'Silva is a genius at evoking the sounds, sights and aromas of India. A major new talent- I can't wait for her next novel.' Linda KavanaghRenita DSilva is a wonderful author who has a natural gift at storytelling that truly impressed and awed me. Novel EscapesRenita paints the most beautiful images with a few, perfectly chosen words. KimTalksBooks.com