“This prequel to TEATIME FOR THE FIREFLY validates Shona Patel as that rare novelist who is a born storyteller, as she brings to life an era that will forever change the face of India.” (Book Reporter Review)
“Beautifully written, this novel is sure to please fans of Khaled Hosseini and Jhumpa Lahiri.”(Library Journal Review)
“An unforgettable story of love and loss, hope and change” (Booklist starred review)
“This is escapism without guilt: a love story that educates us about a different time, place and social mores.” (Selected as one of Top Six picks for fall 2015 by Toronto Star)
BOOKLIST *Starred* Review In her latest gracefully written novel, Patel (Teatime for the Firefly, 2013) skillfully uses the culture and customs of late-nineteenth- and early twentieth-century India as a fascinating framework for an unforgettable story of love and loss, hope and change, family and friendship that will stay with readers long after they turn the last page.— John Charles
LIBRARY JOURNAL, May 15 issue Tradition and setting dominate this story of passion, politics, and love. The Indian countryside and village life play a big role, and the slow pace of writing matches the pace of change in India. Beautifully written, this novel is sure to please fans of Khaled Hosseini and Jhumpa Lahiri.
RT BOOK REVIEWS, July issue Readers fascinated by Biren Roy from Firefly will be thrilled to read this story. Patel enlivens her richly developed plot by deftly incorporating social and political issues, cultural differences and vivid descriptions of India’s food, flavors and flame tress into the novel. The drama and sadness of the era come to life alongside a beautiful romance. Patel knows her country and its struggles so well that readers feel a part of it as well.”4 Stars
LUXURY READING August 14 (Reviewed by Colleen Turner)Shona Patel’s writing is amongst the most beautiful I have come across and her abilities to bring to life a brightly colored world of beauty against the ugliness of this time and place in history (at least when it comes to the rights of women and an antiquated caste system) is unmatched in my reading.
READING THE PASTAugust 11 (Reviewed by Sarah Johnson) There are many moments of joy in Flame Tree Road, and others of abject sadness, all recounted with the flair of a natural storyteller as Patel brings us deeply into the life of an admirable man who dedicates himself to reshaping his world.
Beth Woodward, SERL Librarian Arizona : Patel writes a great tale which engages and keeps your interest. The reader is introduced to Indian culture, especially the caste system and its societal bases. Patel says she hopes to further explain it to Western audiences. The thought that “people arrive at inner peace and wisdom only by transcending great personal tragedy” is woven into the plot several times and allows the reader contemplate this maxim. Emerging feminism in both England and India are part of the plot and give this historical fiction book enough plot twists and romance to have you reading all night long.
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TORONTO STARThis is escapism without guilt: a love story that educates us about a different time, place and social mores.