7 August 2013

ACRBA Review: Captured by Moonlight by Christine Lindsay

5 - 9 August
is introducing
(WhiteFire Publishing May 15, 2013)
About the Author:
Christine Lindsay writes historical inspirational novels with strong love stories, and she takes pride in her Irish roots. Her great grandfather and grandfather worked as riveters in the Belfast shipyard, one of those ships her ancestors helped build was the Titanic. On her mother’s side it was stories of ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in India that seeded Christine’s long-time fascination with the British Raj and became the stimulus for her Twilight of the British Raj series.

The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home where she lives with her husband, David, and they enjoy the visits from their adult children and grandchildren. Like a lot of authors, Christine’s chief editor is her cat.
About the Book
Prisoners to their own broken dreams…

After a daring rescue goes awry, the parched north of India grows too hot for nurse Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana. The women flee to the tropical south…and run headlong into their respective pasts.

Laine takes a new nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fianc√© is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her years ago. Why, then, is she still drawn to him, and to the tiger cub he is raising?

Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts whether freedom will ever again be in her future, much less the forbidden love that had begun to whisper to her. Is faith enough to live on? Or is her Savior calling her home?

Amid cyclones and epidemics, clashing faiths and consequences of the war, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?

My Review
It is 1921, and Laine Harkness is an Army nurse stationed in Amritsar, India, where she works at the Queen Alexandra hospital and assists at the a local Christian mission. Laine assists Eshana to rescue a 14-year-old temple prostitute who is unlikely to survive labour without professional medical care. They save the girl, with the assistance of the handsome Dr Jai Kaur, but the women have been identified and the mob is out for vengeance to those who dare to disrespect Hindi beliefs.

The women flee: Eshana takes their recovering patient to the Ramabai Mukti Mission in Madras. Here she comes face to face with her past, in the form of the uncle who abandoned her in an ashram as a grieving 13-year-old widow. Laine is assigned to a remote medical outpost where she is reintroduced to Adam Brand, who forbids her from visiting his estate and refuses to give any explanation for the letter he wrote breaking their engagement.

One ongoing thread through Captured by Moonlight is Laine’s lack of faith. It’s not made clear why an English woman with no personal faith would assist at a Christian mission run by and for Hindi child widows. The question of Laine’s faith is, in my opinion, never satisfactorily resolved, and I also wasn't convinced by her relationship with Adam. This is a weakness made even more obvious by the strength of the Eshana/Jai relationship.

The other weakness was minor, and had to do with the editing. At first I was impressed by the use of vocabulary and word order to show the different accents of the English, Indian and American characters. Then I realised there were no American characters, despite the use of Americanisms such as ‘gotten’. Oops (but the Indian characters were still well-portrayed, in both speech and deed). There were also a small number of irritating typos and homonym errors.

Apart from that, the research and writing in Captured by Moonlight was excellent. The author managed to give a real sense of time and place with only a few well-chosen words. I could easily believe I had been transported to 1920’s India, and was especially impressed the way contemporary events (such as Ghandi’s peaceful protests) were woven into the conversations between the characters.

Captured by Moonlight has everything: a unique plot, an exotic location, two heroines from two very different backgrounds and cultures, and a hero with a secret, and a second hero who must abandon everything he holds dear in order to win the woman he loves. Recommended for those who want something a little different from the standard American Christian romance.

Thanks to the author and ACRBA for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Christine Lindsay at her website.

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