British India. The heart of Calcutta. Two women searching for freedom - and love. If you loved Dinah Jefferies' THE TEA PLANTER'S WIFE you will love EDEN GARDENS.
A luscious, enthralling and colourful novel of India, sure to appeal to readers of Dinah Jefferies' THE TEA PLANTER'S WIFE. 'Beautifully written, you can smell the spices, feel the heat, and your heart will break, you will laugh at some of the things Mam says, and cry at others, you will want a sequel' Lovereading
Shortlisted for the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown
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.
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.
Louise has three grown-up children and lives in Birmingham.
Faithfully researched, colourfully rendered... a vivid and compelling read — Sunday Irish Independent
I was transported to the heat of India — Janet Gilliard, Lovereading