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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.4 out of 5
5 Stars
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  • Excellent

    This was an excellent book - would highly recommend it. Well written and interesting from start to finish.

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  • Love is a Gift more Valuable than Riches

    The Orphan's Gift depicts British and Indian relations under British Raj. Despite India being the jewel of the British Empire, martial race orchestrated a caste system. Love between the races wasn't permitted and those caught in the cross fire were burned. Alice and Raju grew up together and despite their backgrounds were best friends. Their friendship was frowned upon by Alice's parents and she started mimicking their elitist behavior. The multi-generational saga, chronicles Janaki's tale. Growing up in an orphanage, her kindred spirit set her apart from other children. Happiness always seemed at arm's length but through loss, she strives to make a difference. Thank you to the publisher and #NetGalley for the early read. As the stories intertwine, there's evidence of love despite heartache. Alice was orphaned by circumstances while Janaki, surrounded by mother figures. Renita D'Silva illustrates love is a gift more valuable than riches.

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  • Something Special!

    😊 The Orphan's Gift is my first book by Renita D'Silva and it was a thoroughly enjoyable story. Set in England and India, it tells the stories of Alice and Janaki, told in alternating chapters spanning two generations, as the reader follows the two girls through to adulthood. It's 1910 and in India, golden-haired Alice Harris is growing up in her family's expansive compound with her emotionally distant parents, Robert and Caro. Robert is the Deputy Commissioner for the British government and her mother spends her time longing only for the English countryside. Alice spends her days with her nanny, Ayah and her young son, Raju, and the pair have become inseparable... until her father decides to send Raju far away and banishes Alice to England. The reader also meets Janaki as an eight-year-old in 1944, living in an orphanage in India run by nuns. Running concurrently with Alice's story, the reader learns the details of Janaki's life, how she longs for her real mother, the woman who was forced to abandon her, wrapped in a precious gift… a hand-knitted, embroidered cardigan. This is a gentle read with a wonderful, appealing descriptiveness. Renita D'Silva creates her characters with heart and I could virtually hear their voices emanating from the pages. This soul-stirring and resonant story has themes of love, loss, regret, abandonment, passion, resilience and friendship. I was emotionally invested in the journeys of the characters and there were all manner of reactions from the odd tear, to anger, and broad grins. A pleasing and satisfying ending. I highly recommend this stunning five-star read. I can’t believe I haven’t read any of Renita D'Silva’s other books, but A Daughter's Courage is now on my 'to-read' list. 😊 I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Bookouture via NetGalley at my request and this review is unbiased opinion.

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  • A wonderful and heart-wrenching tale!

    4.5 Stars 1909, India. Alice Harris is an English girl growing up in India with her emotionally distant parents. Her father is the deputy commissioner for the British government and her mother spends her days in bed longing to return to England. Alice spends most of her time with her nanny, Ayah, and her son, Raju. Alice and Raju are the best of friends, but when they become too close as teenagers, it leads to tragic consequences for Raju and his family. 1944, India. Eight-year-old Janaki lives in an orphanage run by nuns. She is a kind and optimistic girl who longs to be adopted by a loving family. From there, we follow Janaki's heartbreaking journey to becoming a successful doctor. This is a beautifully written and heartbreaking tale of love, family, loss, regrets, and healing. Set mostly in India, this story spans two generations and tells the story of two girls growing up under completely different circumstances. The writing style is compelling, and the author is very talented in her descriptive writing and these descriptions pulled me into the story right from the start and instantly transported me to the beautiful country of India, with its rich culture, delicious food, sweltering heat, and the daily lives of the Indian people who were fighting for their country's independence. The characters were so well-written that I felt what they were going through. This book shows readers that your past doesn't have to define you or shape your future, and the importance of moving forward and learning to forgive yourself. This wonderful and heart-wrenching story will stay with me for a very long time. If you enjoy historical fiction, then I highly recommend this book. Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Lovely novel

    Thank you to Netgalley, the publishing house and the author for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of this book in return for a review based upon my honest opinion. This fictional historical novel moved me, I could smell the cinnamon and spices, see the vividness of the flowers and feel the despair of the characters. Well written and lovely. I followed Alice and Janaki on their life journeys through the hardships and triumphs, through love and pain. India has always been on my list of places I would like to travel to, I feel like I have travelled through this book into India’s past. Wonderful book can’t wait to read more books by this author

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