Author : Renita D’Silva
Publisher : Bookouture
ISBN : 9781786816498
About The Girl in the Painting
‘LOVE LOVE LOVED this fabulous novel… I couldn’t put it down… Stunning and beautifully written… Will transport you through time and across the world from England to India… Highly recommended.’ NetGalley reviewer
India, 1926: Margaret is in love, with her new husband and her new home, a sprawling villa amidst beautiful rolling hills, the air filled with the soft scent of spices and hibiscus flowers. Yet she’s unwelcome with the locals and grows close to Archana, her maid, who reminds Margaret of the beloved sister she lost in the great war.
Overjoyed with her pregnancy, Margaret could stay forever, sipping tea, chatting with Archana, painting in the sun beside the stream full of water lilies. But when Archana finds herself in danger and Margaret makes the choice to save her, she doesn’t realise the devastating consequences that will tear her and Archana apart, destroy her marriage, and haunt her for the rest of her life…
England, 2000: Emma’s relationship is falling apart, and her beloved grandmother, Margaret, is dying. Margaret has one last request: find Archana. It’s the first time Emma has even heard the name, but desperate for an escape and to bring Margaret closure, she travels deep into the heart of the Indian hills, to a crumbling house overgrown with vines, searching for answers.
The more Emma learns, the more she sees of herself in her grandmother, and the stronger her need to uncover Margaret’s secret. But if she finds Archana and the truth is finally revealed – the story of a day spent painting by a stream, and a betrayal that tore three lives to pieces – can it help each woman find peace or are some rifts too deep to heal…?
Discover the extraordinary secret of the girl in the painting, perfect for fans of Kathryn Hughes, Lucinda Riley and The Storyteller’s Secret.
What readers are saying about The Girl in the Painting:
‘Oh boy, this book did not disappoint. The story was so well thought out, intricate and full bodied…. hooked right till the end… You get such a sense of each character, and your heart breaks for both of them… It just engrosses you, so you go on the journey with them… Side note, grab your tissues… I can’t recommend this book enough. Renita is such a talented writer, and a great storyteller.’ jth books, 5 stars
‘BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN AND EMOTIONALLY GRIPPING… just took my breath away!… it was truly beautiful and I will gladly admit, that I shed a little tear.’ Goodreads Reviewer
‘I completely fell in love with the story and characters… utterly sucked in to the story… I cried, smiled, laughed and even felt the anger, relief and betrayal… amazing talent and her beautiful stories… one of the most beautiful and poignant stories I have ever read!’ Curled Up with a Good Book, 5 stars
‘Now where do I start with this absolutely stunning book? I was completely mesmerised by this entire story… heartbreaking and compelling… truly writing at its finest… a rich tapestry of imagery laced with struggles and strife. I loved every minute.’ Stacy is Reading, 5 stars
‘After reading the blurb, I already felt I was going to be swept away. Was my feeling right? I can say a big YES without a doubt!… between the sadness and heartache there was room for a lot of heartwarming moments as well… I flew through it.’ B for Bookreview, 5 stars
‘Stunningly amazing… exquisite perfection… intense drama, romance, family… This compelling read was very difficult to put down and I felt for all three women… their lives held such drama, and it felt so very real… definitely highly recommended.’ Robin Loves Reading
The Girl in the Painting Review
This book jumped from character to character in a rather abrupt manner. It did not flow well. The premise was good, but I was exhausted when I finished reading it
The links between 3 women who have very different experiences and live across a hundred years. They all learn to forgive themseves and to realise that what they want isn’t necessarily what is best for them. It is so easy to empathise with each woman, to feel her pain and experience her freedom when she accepts herself. A moving story highly recommended
I loved this story and found it very sad. The prose was often very poetic and flowery which only made the story unnecessarily longer.
Another great read by Renita D’Silva. I am never disappointed!
Very enjoyable book full of all kinds that make up a good
Margaret grew up England before WW I, she lives with her parents and her sisters in a wealthy upper class home. Just before the start of WW I Margaret’s life starts to fall apart, her baby brother George is stillborn, her mother is consumed by grief and she struggles to cope with her loss. WW I starts and Margaret’s father joins up, a silly decision and her mothers mental health declines. Despite being warned it’s not safe to stay in the family home, it’s a huge target, Margaret’s mother decides to stay and its a mistake. One night the family home is destroyed by an air strike and burns to the ground. Margaret’s mother and younger sister Evie die in the fire. Margaret, and her sister Winnie are sent to live at their Aunties farm, they find the farm a shock after living in their genteel home. They find out that their father has also died in the war and they don’t feel welcome at their Uncle George’s farm. They are made to feel like a huge burden and their Aunt Helen tries her best to make them feel wanted. Winnie and Margaret are invited to the village dance and Winnie meets the Baron Andrew Cohen, They fall in love and marry. Winnie is so happy in her new life as a Baroness she is content being a wife and mother. Margaret decides to take the chance she is given and leaves the farm to study art at Kings College in London as she is a talented painter, she starts to paint to cope with her grief of losing her family and she’s given a scholarship. At a party she meets Suraj, an Indian man who’s studying law in England and due to his heritage is snubbed by most English people and he’s very lonely. They fall in love, Margaret and Suraj marry and soon leave England for India. Margaret loves India, Suraj’s parents are not happy with his choice of wife and they refuse to meet his new bride. Sadly before he can repair his relationship with his parents die in a car accident and he has to move back to his family home to sort out his parents affairs and Margaret’s world is changed yet again. Here she meets and makes friends with her Indian maid Archana, who reminds her of her young sister Evie..Margaret is shocked not only by the poverty in India, but also the caste system and the practice of sati. This is when a man dies he is cremated and his wife sacrifices herself as well, she is put alive on her husbands funeral pyre and they burn and go to heaven together. When Archana’s older husband dies, Margaret goes against the advice of her husband and saves Archana from her from sati but saving her brings with it huge consequences for both of them. Her decision changes her life, her husbands and Archana’s forever. Years later Margaret sends her grand daughter Emma to India to deliver a message to Archana and also a painting. Emma discovers her grandmothers secrets, why Margaret wants to apologize to Archana and discovers Suraj has left his crumbling mansion in the Indian countryside to Margaret and as he never got over losing the love of his life. The Girl In The Painting is a brilliant book, it’s a story with many layers, details, customs, secrets and tragedy. All tied together to create a very compelling and interesting story. I really liked The Girl In The Painting and I gave it four stars.
I absolutely loved this book, I couldn’t put it down. It’s been a long time since a story has made me cry. It’s the first book I have read by Renita and I can’t wait to read more by her.
An amazing read,,hard to put down . Very emotionally charged and the beauiful writing allows the reader to move effortlessly from character to character and from era to era.
So many feelings, love, anger, jealousy, rejection, regret, forgiveness, horror, guilt, disappointment excitement, all wound up in this magical story. I truly enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to find out the ending.
Riveting, historical situations, could not put down. Full of love, pain and forgiveness in people’s futures.
I had a bit of trouble distinguishing and understanding the present day and the 20’s. A good story a bit long however.
I just loved the different perspectives to make the whole story, the colours and history entwining and making the story. Did not want to put it down
The story pulls you in from the beginning. It is wonderfully written & the characters are so well presented you care for them as if they are friends. I love reading about India & this novel doesn’t disappoint. I actuly cried -more than once. Thankyou Renita D’Silva-you are becoming one of my favourite authors
Good descriptions of life in India in the early 20th century and the strict rules and economic woes of the country before independence. However the story was very long winded and repetitive and the characters were somewhat weak and indecisive in their own beliefs. The climax as not earth shattering and. did not need to be portrayed as so damaging and dramatic.
Another page turner from Renita D’Silva, bringing alive the sights and smells of India through the eyes of the English grandmother as she accompanies the Indian man she marries, defying convention, to his homeland. And years later as the granddaughter retraces her grandmother ‘s life and doomed love while she grapples with her own flawed marriage.
I enjoyed the book. The story line was interesting and at times heart breaking. There was just enough background details to explain but not overwhelm. I will read other books by the author.
I have read all of renitas books, never ever regretted. Her books are awesome, this one is so good, couldn’t put it down. Trust you will be hooked, you read one of her books, you will go back. loom her up and read all of her books, as I have. Wish she had more, lol I know it takes time to write, but I can’t get enough ❤️❤️❤️
This book was fabulous couldn’t put it down first of her books I have red
The author’s excessive use of colour descriptors really distracted me from what was probably an interesting plot line. “Navy yellow eyes”. Seriously! Run on sentences and endless repetition were also frustrating. I will not read another book by this author.
Such a beautiful descriptive book! You can almost taste the spices in the air. Well written and emotional story right to the last page.
Easy to read story, with good character development throughout the story. At times it was a little repetitve in parts, however, the descriptions of India were well done, albeit fictional. Overall, I enjoyed the story.
Was a spell bounding read, an expertly woven tale. Couldn’t put it down!
I enjoyed the story but there was so much repetition. It could have been a shorter book if the same wasnt written over and over.
This magical book is perfect for ten year olds awesome
I loved this book and found it hard to put down. So well written and easy to read. It was so easy to mentally picture the Indian village and the lives lived there. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who likes family sagas.
This took a lot of concentrating to understand the story. The flitting back and forth from subject to subject hard to follow but coming together in the end. You have to keep reading to discover the idea behind the story. I think it could have been written in a slightly better way so it would have been easier to follow
Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book in return for a review based upon my honest opinion. This was a wonderful read for a beautiful rainy spring weekend. I really enjoyed the storyline, the way it was told, and the history behind it. The characters in the book were very heartwarming and honest. I really enjoyed the dual timeline storyline and the way it was revealed to us to tell the story about Margaret and her family and Archana and her family; I enjoyed how Emma’s story brought the two stories together and gave them a very satisfying ending. I had never heard about sati before and I found it an archaic and brabaric practice, but on the other hand, I can see how it would be seen as the ultimate form of devotion and sacrifice, not only for herself but her family and her village. After reading this book, I researched sati and found it a very interesting topic. I loved learning something new. It was a very emotional story that left me thinking about it long after I read it. A story of family and friendship, of love and betrayal, of forgiveness and honour. As I read the book, I could picture in my mind the places and the sights.The author did a wonderful job of conveying where this book was written and the time that it was written. The sounds and smells of this book were almost tangible. I will definitely be reading more books by this author, I really loved this one.
Absolute great book, reading it makes you look at how you relate to people and the consequences of your actions. So glad I read it.
The plot is interesting and gives the reader a look into former traditions (thank goodness) of Indian villages and the tragedies that come from a warped view of honor and shame and our unwillingness to forgive others. This story is told from two different time periods, 1920’s and present-day England and India and through voices of both time periods. I like that the author let the main characters tell and then conclude their own stories and that she showed us that we can learn from the lives of our ancestors so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. I will read other books by this author. Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars My Rating: 4.5 Stars Emma is a loving granddaughter who follows through to check out her dying grandmother’s house in India. It is year 2000, and this beautiful saga shifts and becomes a story of past and present when Emma promises to give a mysterious painting to someone called Archana. Leaving England to head to India could not have come at a better time for Emma as her relationship is greatly suffering. As a mother to eight-year-old Sophie, Emma is forced to make difficult choices. The story shifts back to the early 1900’s, during and after World War I, and tells of the difficult and tragic lives of Margaret, Emma’s grandmother. It also tells of Archana, someone who played a pivotal role in Margaret’s life, who Emma struggles to locate. Both Margaret’s and Archana’s stories are tragic and their lives are expertly chronicled. Reading this stunningly amazing book by Renita D’Silva was very much like watching a captivating mini-series. There were many stories told, with much sadness, yet this book managed also to deliver hope and joy. The storytelling by this talented author was done with exquisite perfection. Some of the things I enjoyed during this read were the intense drama, romance, family and learning of Indian culture. Times were hard after the war, so there were some difficult passages, such as tragic experiences. This compelling read was very difficult to put down and I felt for all three women, Emma, but especially Margaret and Archana. Their lives held such drama, and it felt so very real. This wonderful read is definitely highly recommended. I haven’t read anything by this author before, but I will definitely look for both previous and future works. Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.