Book blurb :
1855, Lucknow. As tensions simmer in the heat of colonial India, a prince of Avadh and an English woman defy their societies’ prejudices to fall in love. But in a world where private happiness is at the mercy of wider events, even as Salim and Rachael are drawn closer together, their privileged lives are about to be torn apart.
Troule begins when the British annex Avadh and banish the king. Determined to recover what is rightfully his, Salim seizes the chance to fight back when a small mutiny flares into bloody rebellion against British rule. As unrest spreads across the subcontinent, the ancient city of Lucknow proves one of the most dangerous places to be. Torn between their loyalities to each other, their families and the oposing sides that threaten to raze the city to the ground, can Salim and Rachael’s love prove strong enough to rise above the devastation surrounding them, and survive together to a world beyond?
The World Beyond is a historical romance set in the year 1857 on the on-set of India’s first war of independence. Salim, the prince of Lucknow, son of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, falls in love with Rachael, daughter of Colonel Bristow. Their love blossoms as they keep meeting regularly on the pre-text of learning music without the knowledge of their parents. Their love for each other grows by leaps and bounds as she happens to stay in his kingdom as his guest. But when the Indian sepoys mutinise and a fierce battle is fought, a mis-understanding arises between them which makes Rachael leave Salim asking him never to show her, his face again! Now, whether they unite or not is for you to read and discover!
The amount of research that Sangeeta has put into the novel is commendable which makes the plot all the more authentic and believable. The beautiful description of palaces, forts, culture, dressing and the city of Lucknow is so effective that I could actually visualize them as if I were watching a movie. Not to mention the Mughalai cuisine which is often mentioned in the novel, watering my mouth every single time.
In today’s (romantic) novels, where sex is available as abundantly and freely as water, reading her work was nothing less than torture, giving you that tingling sensation every now and then without any physical contact between the protagonists! (Okay, just a few!) Also, after a long time I was grinning ear to ear while reading a romantic novel.
Her language is not too simple that it gets boring or not too high-end that it intimidates the reader, it is blend of both. The plot is simple and the characters relate-able. In fact, not once did I feel that it is a fictional tale and not a real one. The suspense totally works in her favour because as a reader, one starts guessing the outcome of the novel from the beginning, one wonders, whether they unite in the end or they are forced to part ways, which only makes the novel all the more interesting to read!
Highly recommended! Beautiful read. Touching the right chords with the readers at the right places and the right times!
The author can be reached here – Sangeeta Bhargava
To know about her third book – After The Storm