I absolutely love seeing more and more exotic locations in the historical fiction genre. Most historical fiction novels are set places like England or America with the occasional France thrown in for fun-sies. But there are many compelling stories coming out of exotic locations recently and I am so excited to read those stories. One of my new favorite settings in historical fiction is Bombay.
In the fall I read Murder in Old Bombay and it felt like such an exotic treat for me and when I saw this one was coming out I jumped on it, mostly for the location, but also because I never met a WWI romance that I didn’t love. While not exclusively a romance, this book has a strong romantic storyline and I couldn’t wait to read something new feeling.
I know that some readers did not enjoy the setting of this book and some felt that the setting was just another glorification of white colonization of the Indian people. But for me, it was a novel with great stories and a new setting that wasn’t just another novel set in England. Though the setting drew me in, it was the characters and the plot won me over.
All he needs is to find her. First, he must remember who she is.”Meet Me in Bombay is a powerful, poignant and deeply emotional tale of love, mystery, loss and joy.” –Kate Furnivall, New York Times bestselling author
It’s New Year’s Eve in Bombay, 1913, and Madeline Bright, new to the sweltering heat of colonial India, is yearning for all she has left behind in England. Then, at the stroke of midnight, Maddy meets Luke Devereaux, and as the year changes so do both their lives.
Bold and charismatic, Luke opens her eyes to the wonders of Bombay, while Maddy’s beauty and vivacity captures his heart. Only her mother disapproves, preferring the devoted Guy Bowen as a match for her daughter.
But while Maddy and Luke are falling in love, the world is falling apart. World War I is on the horizon, and Luke will be given no choice but to fight. They will be continents apart, separated by danger and devastating loss, but bound by Luke’s promise that they will meet again in Bombay. His only wish is to return to her–but first he must remember who she is (summary from Goodreads)
This novel got me right in the feels. It was so emotional and to be perfectly honest, I spent so much of the novel worrying that the Luke and Maddy will never find their way back to each other. I had serious serious serious concerns that they would remain parted. It was then that I realized how invested I was in the characters and their romance. Their romance was moving and memorable and ripe with tension. Falling in love with Luke was easy and then as he gets called away to fight in the Great War, I found myself anticipating the tragedy that I knew was coming. But even then, I still couldn’t bring myself to stop reading. It was a book that took hold and didn’t let me go. I was glad that I slowed down to savor it because it was packed with emotion, I didn’t want to miss anything about it.
I loved getting to experience Bombay through Maddy. I felt like I learned a lot about the country and it’s history. While some have argued that it’s a white washed history of the colony, I personally didn’t mind since I don’t know much about that area of the world or the history of that time and location. I actually found it nice to have at least some info and context of the history, even if it’s from a white perspective. It actually inspired me to look for more books set in India and by Indian authors and to read more on the history of the country. In my opinion the author did a great job adding spice and history to this story.
After reading this one, I had to read more books by this author! I haven’t read any of her books before but this one was well written, exotic feeling, full of emotion and romance not to mention I loved the history which left me eager to read more books by her. If you are looking for a book that is a little off the beaten path, but full of things to love, then you need to check this one out. It was a wonderful story and I am so glad I took a chance on this one!
Book Info and Rating
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: January 19th 2021 by St. Martin’s Press
ISBN125027026X (ISBN13: 9781250270269)
Free review copy provided by publisher, St Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: historical fiction, romance, war romance