The Midnight Rose

March 18, 2014

The Midnight Rose
By: Lucinda Riley
496 Pages

In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-year-old Anahita, from a noble but impov­erished family, forms a lifelong friendship with the headstrong Princess Indira, the privileged daughter of Indian royalty. As the princess’s official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of WorldWar I. There, she meets young Donald Astbury—reluctant heir to the magnifi­cent, remote Astbury Estate—and his scheming mother. 

Ninety years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. But when her turbulent relationship with her equally famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn, she’s relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to a distant cor­ner of the English countryside. Shortly after filming begins at the now-crumbling Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita’s great-grandson, arrives unexpectedly, on a quest for his family’s past. What he and Rebecca discover begins to unravel the dark secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty . . .  Publisher Summary

**** We apologize if our review sounds vague. We tried to give you important
story information without giving the details away. ****

Lucinda Riley is an author that we at Miss Book Lovers get all excited to read. We know that we are going to read a remarkable story that will takes us on an unforgettable journey. Not one of her books has let us down. We have eagerly devoured each one, and anxiously await her next creation. The Midnight Rose does not disappoint in these regards. We couldn't put the book down. We're pretty sure we burned calories with all the jaw dropping the story has you do. This captivating story gives you a front row seat to the royal life in the Indian culture. Lucinda makes you feel like you are right there as the story unfolds. You are really immersed in the Hindu culture for a good portion of the book. 

The book centers around Anahita Chavan's life. As she celebrates 100 years, she senses her time is ending. However, she still doesn't have a solid answer to the question her children and grandchildren have spent their lives hearing about: did her first born son really die, or not? Anahita leaves solving this family mystery to her great grandchild, Ahri. On their last visit, she gives him her life story that she wrote for her long lost son she is sure never died. Like everyone else, Arie doesn't put much stock into it. However, years later, with his own life in a brokenhearted shreds, he begins to read the story. His mission is now to find out what really happened to Anahita's son. This journey takes him to England, and Astbury Hall.

Rebecca Bradley has also found herself on the sprawling grounds of Astbury Hall. She's one of the numerous actors there to shoot a film. Looking forward to the break from her own life struggles, the last thing Rebecca plans on doing is getting to know the estates's owner, and getting swept up in a mystery. She, Arie, and an odd Lord Anthony Astbury look to find out what really happened to Anahita, and her son.

Related to the Indian royal family, Anahita is taken in by the Maharaja of Cooch Behar family. She and their daughter, Indira, having already formed a kinship with one another, they treated Anni as their own. The two friends were sent to England for school and found safety on the Astbury Hall estate when war breaks out in 1911. While there, Anni helps Lady Astbury's daughter, Selina, give birth. She makes lifelong friends with the children, but Lady Astbury doesn't like her. When romance forms between Anahita and Donald, Lady Astbury's son, they know their future isn't going to be easily obtained. Sadly, they are right. Their time together is surrounded in secrecy and takes a devastating turn when a wife and son are added to the mix. An unfortunate death leaves an infant orphan, but changes the lives of everyone else, as well.

Everything comes to an exploding head when a dinner between Lord Astbury and Rebecca goes horribly wrong, leading to the most shocking plot twist within the book's pages. Secrets, old and new, come to light as all the pieces of Anahita's life are brought together. 

The Midnight Rose is another Lucinda Riley masterpiece. Once again, readers will be glued to the book. You will be anxious to see what happens when you turn the page. What you think will happen, and what does happen are all too often different. And, oh, the ending!!! Lucinda Riley has done it again!!


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