I have some exciting news, I am on the blog tour for The Pagoda Tree by Claire Scobie, organised by the wonderful Anne Carter from Random Things Blog Tours!
Tanjore, 1765. Young Maya plays among the towering granite
temples of this ancient city in the heart of southern India. Like her mother
before her, she is destined to become a devadasi, a dancer for the temple. She
is instructed in dance, the mystical arts and lovemaking. It is expected she
will be chosen as a courtesan for the prince himself.
But as Maya comes of age, India is on the cusp of change and
British dominance has risen to new heights. Far from home the East India
Company is acting like a country in its own right and the British troops are
more of a rabble than the King’s army. The prince is losing his power and the
city is sliding into war. Maya is forced to flee her ancestral home and heads
to the bustling port city of Madras, where East and West collide.
In this new home, Maya captivates all who watch her dance,
including Thomas Pearce, an ambitious young Englishman who has travelled to
India to make his fortune. But their love is forbidden and comes at enormous cost.
Weaving together the uneasy meeting of two cultures, The
Pagoda Tree is a captivating story of love, loss, fate and exile in
I knew as soon as I read the blurb I was in for something special. I don’t know (or rather, didn’t know) any of the history surrounding this novel, only a vague idea of an overall perception. However, the vibrant, rich history emanating from the pages was intricately beautiful and simply stunning.
The narrative reminded me of Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha; a culture and background I knew nothing about became truly fascinating as soon as I turned the first page. This gorgeous metahistorical novel is full of passion, wonder, and nostalgia. Just like I say there is a romanticist view of the Victorian era in Britain, there is a mesmerising vision of 18th century India.
Maya is a complex character; I felt the narrative conveyed this extremely well. She is ambiguous, as she is yet to find her identity inn the harsh realities of life. I also enjoyed reading the other characters, following their journey as they intertwined with one-another.
The epigraphs at the beginning of the novel were a lovely touch. A great deal of care, attention, and detail has gone into producing such an innovative story, especially from a contemporary perspective.
To sum up, I would say this novel is a piece of art, painting a picture of a captivating time in history, enchanting characters, and a beautiful story.
I would recommend for anyone who enjoys historical fiction, metafiction, and dramatic stories full of emotion and enigmatic characters. I found The Pagoda Tree to be truly inspiring and is a wonderful addition to my bookshelf!
How to get your hands on a copy
THANK YOU, Anne Carter, for being on your blogger list! I loved kicking off this tour and can’t wait for the next one! You did a tremendous job of organising tours and I am so happy to be a part of them!
Thank you also to Claire Scobie for my wonderful copy of The Pagoda Tree.
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour!
Happy reading! Lx