East of the Sun

East of the Sun

by Julia Gregson
4.0 59

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

East of the Sun by Julia Gregson

From award winner Julia Gregson, author of Jasmine Nights, this sweeping international bestseller brilliantly captures the lives of three young women on their way to a new life in India during the 1920s.

As the Kaisar-I-Hind weighs anchor for Bombay in the autumn of 1928, its passengers ponder their fate in a distant land. They are part of the “Fishing Fleet”—the name given to the legions of English women who sail to India each year in search of husbands, heedless of the life that awaits them. The inexperienced chaperone Viva Holloway has been entrusted to watch over three unsettling charges. There’s Rose, as beautiful as she is naïve, who plans to marry a cavalry officer she has met a mere handful of times. Her bridesmaid, Victoria, is hell-bent on losing her virginity en route before finding a husband of her own. And shadowing them all is the malevolent presence of a disturbed schoolboy named Guy Glover.

From the parties of the wealthy Bombay socialites to the poverty of Tamarind Street, from the sooty streets of London to the genteel conversation of the Bombay Yacht Club, East of the Sun takes us back to a world we hardly understand but yearn to know. This is a book that has it all: glorious detail, fascinating characters, and masterful storytelling.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439101124
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 06/02/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 261,938
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Julia Gregson has worked as a journalist and foreign correspondent in the UK, Australia, and the US. She is the author of East of the Sun, which was a major bestseller in the UK and won the Romantic Novel of the Year Prize and the Le Prince Maurice Prize there, and Monsoon Summer. Her short stories have been published in collections and magazines and read on the radio. She lives in Monmouthshire, Wales.

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East of the Sun 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
SuperReaderGirl More than 1 year ago
I know a book is good when I find myself thinking about the characters long after I've finished the book and moved on to a new one. That has definitely been the case with East of the Sun. Julia Gregson portrays the journey numerous English women made across the ocean to India in the 1920s and 30s (pre-WWII) looking for love... or at least a husband. Ever since reading The Secret Garden as a young girl, I've been fascinated by this concept of the British in India. Aayahs and Mem Sahibs... it's all so luxurious and arrogant! This story was especially interesting for its character development. Each character was actually somewhat annoying to me in that none of them really had their head on straight. They were all just a little off-- but aren't we all. I especially identified with the main character, Viva Halloway who is torn between her drive to be valuable and valued as an individual (even as a woman) and her desire to feel connected to a man and to a family. This was a thoroughly enjoyable...and educational read.
Aradanryl More than 1 year ago
A quiet read for a 'stay-at-home with a warm blanket and purring cat on my lap' day. The storyline was interesting (but felt long). I took a long time to warm up to most of the characters. I didn't really feel I developed a deeper understanding of India although I did feel I had a better sense of what it might have been like to be a young British woman during that time in that place. The take-away for me was centered around the orphanage. Good-hearted people trying to help fill a desperate need in constructive ways may in fact create more problems than solutions. The book ended on an overall good note. I appreciated that.
itsdeedee More than 1 year ago
The books first few pages have awkwardly written sentences, but dont let that throw you off, this is a great read!! It is a good long book that you just SAIL through. You feel like you have been on a journey to a distant land and more innocent time. It is all at once exciting and touching. You really care about the characters and that is the thread that keeps propelling you through this book. No slow middle here.
AJourneyOfBooks More than 1 year ago
This may be the first book of the year to earn the title of Epic Read. To me, an Epic Read is a book where I could easily imagine a full series out of the storylines. That doesn't mean that I think the story would have been better in a multiple book format, it simply means that this book was jam packed with storyline and kept me intrigued for days. East of the Sun, by Julia Gregson, had a main storyline and multiple branching storylines that really keep the reader involved. This is part of what made the book so wonderful to me. We begin with the story of Viva, an orphaned woman who carries a great deal of pain with her. She is quite, unwilling to share herself with others and broken by passed tragedy. In East of the Sun, we follow Viva as she makes a life altering decision to act as a Chaperone to a group of young adults travelling to India. She hopes to make a new life for herself in this exotic land, but what she finds there may be much more than she is prepared to handle. Will she be able to protect and guide the girls she is chaperoning on their journey to this exciting country? Gregson does an amazing job of creating a complex world with the various stories and yet always finds a way to pull everything together into one cohesive element. Each character complements the story and adds a layer of mystery and suspense to an already juicy plot. One thing that I absolutely loved about the book was that we didn't really have to think too hard about what time we were in throughout the chapters. Many chapters had the location and year under the chapter number. As much as we jump around India and characters, these locations and years really helped to keep our perspective in check. In addition, this book covers a long period of time and the dates help us to view how our characters have changed and grown over time. I won't go into too much detail about the time and where the story takes us as I don't want to give anything away, but be prepared for a lot of character development to happen. In one way, that is a large purpose of the book; we get to see how our trio of friends develop over time in relation to themselves and each other. One thing that did catch me up a couple times throughout the book was the action. Gregson did an amazing job of creating suspense, tense scenes that pulled us along until finally breaking free into some glorious action. On more than one occasion, however, Gregson would set the tension, slowing building anticipation, pulling our emotions like a rubber band stretching just to the point of breaking...and then she'd suddenly drop the rubber band, leaving us without the release of the pop as we watch it gently flutter to the ground. There was more than one scene where I felt that the unwinding of the scene was fairly anticlimactic. Perhaps that was the point, I'm unsure. The story was still magnificent (and it's easy to use that word in relation to this book), but I think it might have been even better if we'd received full resolution to the tension she built throughout the stories. I recommend this book to everyone. It was a fantastic read that kept me coming back for more. I often found that I couldn't set the book down because every time I thought I would find a stopping point, allowing me to put it down for the evening; I would get caught up again. It really is an epic adventure and one that will stick around for a while.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1928 twenty-five years old Viva Holloway is paying her passage to India by escorting three younger travelers; she heads to the "Gem of the Empire" to pick up her late parents personal things. Of her three charges: Rose Wetherby is going to marry; Victoria "Tor" Sowerby is her bridesmaid; and teen Guy Glover is going home after being expelled from school. Viva tires to hide her trepidation as she has no experience chaperoning or for that matter traveling as they sail the Kaiser-i-Hind to Bombay.---------------- All four have their own secret agendas. Viva simply wants to survive the ordeal of being the one in charge. Rose hopes her cavalry officer loves her, but she is nervous because she knows nothing about him as they only met a few short chaperoned times. Tor hopes to find a husband on her "fishing fleet" tour. Finally Guy wants these femmes to leave him alone. When he loses his temper and attacks a prominent member of an Indian family, he sets in motion trouble for himself and his temporary guardian.------------------- This is a fascinating historical tale that rotates perspective between the four prime characters so that the audience understands what motivates each of them. The story line starts slow as Julia Gregson introduces her fantastic four, but once the readers feel comfortable with the lead foursome, the plot moves briskly to a strong finish. Fans will enjoy this engaging look at life of young adults between the wars in the British Empire as the sun is starting to set.---------- Harriet Klausner
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Nikkire More than 1 year ago
I picked this up when doing a review of the clearance books and it was a pleasant surprise. It is a good exposure to the British expat experience to India as an escape to the female conformist life in England. You will find yourself craving curry while you read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable, although left lots of loose ends. And by the way, Barnes & Noble, Monmouthshire is not in England.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful writing-the period beautifully described-great fun to read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, couldn't put it down, and was sorry to see it end. I went out and bought two more copies -- one for my sister, and one for a friend. I loved it so much, I just had to share it. Great story, and characters you will fall in love with, This would make a great movie!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a little slow to start, was better once they reached India however was disappointed at so many open ended story lines. Felt the details could have been more, you never really understood what was going on with everyone. Overall, I'm glad I read it but not a book I would pass along to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!