Audiobooks East of the SunAuthor Julia Gregson –

Autumn The Kaiser I Hind Is En Route To Bombay In Cabin D, Viva Hollowat, An Inexperienced Chaperone, Is Worried She S Made A Terrible Mistake Her Advert In The Lady Has Resulted In Three Unsettling Charges To Be Escorted To IndiaRose, A Beautiful, Dangerously Naive English Girl, Is About To Be Married To The Cavalry Officer She Has Met Only A Handful Of TimesVictoria, The Bridesmaid, Is Determined To Lose Her Virginity On The Journey Before Finding A Husband Of Her Own In India And Overshadowing All Three Of Them, The Malevolent Presence Of Guy Glover, A Strange And Disturbed SchoolboyThree Potential Memsahibs With A Myriad Of Reasons For Leaving England, But The Cargo Of Hopes And Secrets They Carry Has Done Little To Prepare Them For What Lies AheadFrom The Parties Of The Wealthy Bombay Socialites To The Poverty Of The Orphans On Tamarind Street, East Of The Sun Is Everything A Historical Novel Should Be Alive With Glorious Detail, Fascinating Characters And Masterful Storytelling

10 thoughts on “East of the Sun

  1. says:

    I found this book very hard going, not because it s a difficult or demanding read far from it but because most of the story completely failed to engage my interest I only kept reading in the hope that it would improve which, thankfully, it did, albeit not until the final quarter Part of the problem is that the characters aren t particularly likeable Tor is annoying, Rose insipid, and Guy downright horrible and then we re expected to care about his potential demise There also seems to be a lot of unnecessary description, which makes parts of the book feel extremely slow paced and tedious While this book did at least interest me enough to keep reading until the end, ploughing through it ultimately felt like an unrewarding endeavour.

  2. says:

    Julia Gregson s East of the Sun was an emotional read It invoked boredom, annoyance, and frustration pretty quickly The story is about three young women embarking to India Rose is marrying a man she barely knows Her best friend Tor is accompanying Rose officially as her bridesmaid but chiefly to secure a marriage of her own And finally their chaperone, Viva, who returns to India to reclaim something of her past We get the points of view of all these characters, as well as, Rose s fianc , Jack None of the points of view differ much from the other One would have easily sufficed considering the scant storyline This is just one of the instances where Gregson denies her novel clarity in pursuit of complexity and high page count The novel boasts hundreds of pages of pointless descriptions Hairstyles, drinks, meals, shopping trips, parties are detailed by the girls adding nothing to the plot At one point one of her characters even tells another, less is , the irony is grating And after suffering every description nothing happens Here are three girls unprepared for the harsh realities of India at a revolutionary time, and when something that can be considered plot finally materializes, its not only expected but only casually mentioned before we move on to needless descriptions For the first time in my life I m actually angry at an author for producing such a pointless timesuck, but perhaps this book is your type of thing, so here are some quotes to allow the novel to speak for itself The character Viva, an aspiring writer, describes the sea The sea long glistening hollows laced with creamy foam broken ice creams, clamor, bang, smack of waves Reptilian hiss of a ship as it glides through the sea In another quote the girls approach the shoreline Together they looked out at a faint necklace of lights across a dark and crinkling sea A foreign town where a foreign people were cleaning their teeth and washing up their supper dishes and thinking about going to bed Gregson describes a dessert cart the pudding trolley arrived bearing lemon meringue pies and fruit jellies, an apple souffl , ice creams and the Indian jublies, which she found a little sickly If that sounds like something you can stomach, I can only interject that Gregson rambles on in such a manner for six hundred plus pages and I conclude by not recommending this book to anyone who hasn t harmed me in some way.

  3. says:

    I am a book aholic I have so many books in my house that I can t always know where I got them or why or when But sometimes when I go through the slush pile looking for something to read, I find a real gem East of the Sun is such a gem The story is set in the late 1920 s, when Britain was still an empire, and women of a certain class were expected to marry well, even though both these norms were just beginning to change In those days, young ladies who didn t take during their London season were often shipped off to India, where men outnumbered the ladies 3 to 1, to increased their chances of finding a husband These women were derogatorily known as the fishing fleet This novel tells the story of 3 young women of one such voyage Rose, beautiful and naive, who is going to India to marry a man she met only a few times before he shipped off to India Tor Victoria , who is going to be her maid of honor, and who would rather travel halfway round the world than stay home with her mother who is always telling her she is fat and unattractive and their chaperone Viva, who is not much older than her charges, and has undertaken their care to return to her childhood home to get some answers about what happened to her family there The book runs slightly over 500 pages, but I found it a quick and absorbing read, full of interesting details that make the period and place come alive, and characters that you root for even when they don t act in their own best interest One of the best historical novels that I ve read in a while.

  4. says:

    This book tells the story of three girls, all of whom leave England for various reasons on a journey to India Rose is leaving to get married, whilst Tor is her bridesmaid and on the hunt for a potential love interest whilst being chaperoned by a mysterious Viva who seeks to find out about her past.I found the book quite simply fairly dull reading, not demanding in the usual sense of the word, but demanding to me in the aspect it felt like a huge effort to continue reading it I didnt particularly care what happened to either of the characters as they appeared very wooden and the author in my opinion didnt bring them to life very effectively at all.I chose this book after having enjoyed other indian literature novels such as a suitable boy by Vikram Seth etc however, this book is on a completely different level to those others, at the best, very average Not outstanding or special, just average and barely readable.If you like your characters 2D, your plots pointless and rambling and to invoke feelings within yourself such as boredom, frustration and eagerness to finish the book, then this is for you If not, I wouldn t recommend it at all Okay perhaps for an easy beach read however as although it is quite bad, it certaintly isnt the worst thing Ive ever read.

  5. says:

    I am a fan of Julia Gregson Her novels, with their international focus, are truly fascinating to me I have learned so much this is a much better way to learn than sitting in all of the boring geography classes that I attended during my 18 years of education East of the Sun focuses on The Fishing Fleet , and the English women who sailed from England to India in 1928 in search of husbands These ships were called TFF due to the fact that they were often packed with English women travelling to India part of the British Empire to find husbands after having little success in their home country The women s lives remained entertwined, but very different at the same time Both the beauty of India wildlife, geography and people and the horrors extreme poverty, abuse at the hands of the British, and ethnic strife were detailed.I was also very impressed with the women who had moved to India to teach, work as social workers and live other types of courageous, independent single lives in this era.I am looking forward to another Gregson book this week Band of Angels.

  6. says:

    I must have liked it because I finished it right I mean life is too short to waste your time reading a badly written book Although I have a feeling I didn t really like it I couldn t care about any of the characters I simply did not like them Any of them Tor was a bit to pathetic and her ending was simply too neat and tidy Rosewell actually I think I quite like her a tiny bit She had back bone and well did what she needed to do to a certain degree But really none of them appealed to me.I found this book to be a very weak imitation of the likes of Jewel in the Crown , Passage to India and Kingfishers catch fire It was as if she was trying too hard to recreate the sparkling characters of Waugh, Mitford and Wodehouse They seemed too forced Contrite almost I also found the ending a little too predictable India is a magical place and this story lacked any colour, magic or sparkle Yet I still finished it Curioser and curiouser Lets simply blame it on the cold or flu I was suffering from at the time.

  7. says:

    4.5For the past ten years or so I ve been trading birthday books back and forth with one of my closest friends from High School It is truly one of the highlight of my birthday to receive a book that I know I m going to love The best part for me is that most of the books like this one have beautiful friendship themes I always envision us as the characters in the book This time we were two young Brits headed over to India in the late 1920 s, with all the vigor and excitement of marriage and exciting new people and places to look forward to The author created such vivid imagery of India both the beautiful parts as well as some of the unsavory parts like the horrible smells from the slums It was a fairly thick book, but was a quick read because the story really pulled me in Three women were highlighted in the book and I enjoyed spending time with each of them.Here is one of my favorite lines from the book, That if you were lucky, very lucky indeed, there were one or two people in your life who you could tell the unvarnished truth to shell and egg And these people held the essence of you inside them I feel blesses to have a few friends and family around me that know all my unvarnished truths I remember a few years ago getting together with this birthday book friend an another friend from our youth The years all melted away and somehow it was freeing to be able to talk with these friends that knew my whole history I could say things without fear of judgment or feeling like I walked away saying the, wrong thing Thanks Erin and Kelly for that magical day I hope we can do it again sometime And thanks Erin for another truly wonderful book I can t wait for next year.

  8. says:

    A generally well plotted book about three English women who travel to India shortly before their lot were ousted from the subcontinent Viva, a woman who spent her early childhood in India and is seeking some sort of closure about her past Rose, who travels to marry a man with whom she s had 4 conversations and Tor, Rose s cheif bridesmaid who longs to escape her overbearing mother.Most of the writing about India that I have read has been by Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, and V S Naipul, so perhaps I was expecting something spectacular and overly political I enjoyed the book, but spent most of my reading time with the nagging feeling that something was missing.For a novel that takes place in India and shifts POV between characters using a close third person, I was a little disappointed that no space was given to the perspective of an Indian person One could argue that it s a book about the fishing fleet, women who traveled to India to nab a husband, but Jack, Rose s husband, is given voice in several chapters There are, of course, Indian characters, but they mostly stare wide eyed at their employers or hiss Leave India through car windows Ah, colonialism This lack, for me, counteracted what I think the author was tryign to do, which was to demonstrate some of the varying perspectives on colonialism and how even some of the most beneficient projects of the British had unintended consequences.

  9. says:

    When I started this book I was really excited about it and could hardly put it down I thought maybe I had found another The Far Pavillions I did like some of the descriptions about India, the people, the food, the poverty ect and I was quite interested for about 250 pages but I began feeling like the story began to drag a bit and I was just reading a so so romance novel, but then again, it wasn t a romance Then because there is a bit of a mystery I hoped that the author would develope that part of the story a bit but once again, I was let down It wasn t a mystery I didn t really care for Viva one of the characters, she was so emotionally constipated that she drove me crazy Another thing that bothered me about the book is that this book takes place in the early thirties when people were supposedly a little moral than they are today and that good girls didn t sleep around I felt that these characters had todays morals instead of the thirties I had hoped for a great epic adventure and was very dissapointed Maybe I had too many expectations but I think this book was a waste of my time.

  10. says:

    While the idea of exotic 20th century India and the extravagances of British high society conjured up exotic spices, elephant rides and afternoon tea, I got lost in the translation I guess, because there were whole paragraphs that seemed misplaced and hard to follow I didn t understand some of the passages and skipped over them instead The dialogue was tiresome and very, very repetitive, the characters were flat and uninteresting except Ce Ce she was funny and Guy But there were so many that when it could have gotten interesting, it just didn t Was Ce Ce having an affair The author went on for pages about certain events kidnapping and then dropped a line or two to follow up in the next chapter as if it wasn t really important afterall, ie kidnapping, Guy and poor Nigel And talk about tying up loose ends, the whole kidnapping incident was a good example of how do I get out of this This could have been a very good novel had it been a few hundred pages shorter, the characters been fully developed, and the dialogue witty.