Storyline Rating : 5/5 stars
Brief Summary from Goodreads :
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 Indian royalty. As the princess’s official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of WorldWar I. There, she meets young Donald Astbury—reluctant heir to the magnificent, remote Astbury Estate—and his scheming mother.
Ninety 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 a distant corner of the English countryside. 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.
My Point of View :
If I were asked to give two words to describe this book, it would be – poignantly beautiful. It’s a very well written book, as not a lot of books that I’ve read intertwine two stories together as flawless as this one – the two stories refers to Anahita/Donald’s past and Ari/Rebecca’s present.
Long story short, the story is about Ari’s journey to England to fulfill his great-grandmother, Anahita’s wish to find her long-lost and assumed dead son. Ari then met Rebecca, an actress at Astbury Hall. Both of them embark on a quest to find out what really happened all those years ago when Anahita was living in Astbury Hall. The story alternated between Anahita’s, Ari’s, Rebecca’s and Donald’s POV – with each revealing a piece of the puzzle to Anahita’s past and present.
Honestly, I think Anahita and Ari are the main characters of the story. I can’t say I like Ari a lot in the beginning of the story but as the story progresses, Ari slowly changed into a better man and you can’t deny that he plays a huge part in the story. Some may argue that Rebecca is also a main character, but to me, she’s just created to be Ari’s love interest.
Even though Anahita’s and Donald’s romance did not end well, or that Anahita did not get to see her son grow up, I am happy that the story ended well. The epilogue came to me as a surprise, I thought it was already good enough that Ari found out what happened to Anahita’s son, but when it was hinted that Anahita actually did meet her son…..that was just priceless, even if Anahita did not know that that man is her son.
If you love romance – especially historical one, you should really read this book. It is so good that I can’t put the book down. My eyes was literally flying across the pages, that is until I reached the part where I can’t stop my tears from falling. I can’t remember the last time I cried so hard reading a book (I think the last one was The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks).
Favorite Quote : None from this book.