Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Teatime for the Firefly-Shona Patel

Teatime for the Firefly

Shona Patel

Mira, Sep 24 2013, $15.95

ISBN: 9780778315476

By 1943, seventeen years old Layla Roy knows like everyone else she is astrologically doomed having been born as a Manglik due to Mars being her predominate in the Hindu horoscope; which means no man will want a feral wife like her. Her bad luck started early with the deaths of her parents, but due to her modern day thinking grandfather Dadamoshai, who raised her to be an intellect and use her mind, she felt fortunate to attend his all-girls school in Assam.

In April three events seemingly unconnected merge. Russian Boris Ivanov breaks his leg; a baby crow falls out of the nest; and Layla and Manik Deb meet. He ends his arranged marriage and stays in contact with Layla while dangerously working as a tea planter; his family banishes him. When they marry, they clash with the caste system and much more.

Teatime for the Firefly is a fabulous historical that looks deep into 1940s social classes in India and especially the tea plantations. The cast brings alive the era while the lead couple with their opposite attitudes towards others keeps the wonderful storyline focused.

Harriet Klausner

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