I’m delighted to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the memorable This Stolen Life by Jeevani Charika. Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Hera Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this captivating book.
About the book:
Would you tell the truth, if it meant losing your one true love?
Soma is a shy young woman adrift in a strange new country. After moving from Sri Lanka to Yorkshire to become a nanny to baby Louis, Soma tries to settle into life in the U.K., even if every day presents her with a new challenge, from trying new food or getting to grips with the language.
But the one thing Soma never counted on was falling in love. When she meets Sahan, a Sri Lankan student at the local university, the two feel an instant attraction. Meeting in secret so that Sahan can teach Soma English, their friendship quickly blooms into something more. But their differing backgrounds – Soma is from poverty, while Sahan is the son of a wealthy family and cousin to Soma’s employer – means they have to hide their love from the world.
While they bare their souls to each other, Sahan has no idea that Soma is hiding a huge secret from him – but as her lies come crashing down, Soma is faced with an impossible choice. Should she tell the truth – even if means losing Sahan?
A moving, unique and utterly engrossing love story about how well we really know the person we fall in love with – fans of Amanda Prowse, Jojo Moyes and Diane Chamberlain will be captivated.
About the author:
Jeevani Charika writes women’s fiction and contemporary romances with a hint of British cynicism. (In case you were wondering, it’s pronounced Jeev-uh-nee.)
There’s a whole lot of other stuff she could tell you – but mainly: she’s a former scientist, an adult fan of Lego, an embarrassing mum, a part time geek (see ’embarrassing mum’) and a Very Short Person.
She also writes romantic comedy under the pen name Rhoda Baxter. So why the two names? Well… Jeevani writes about British-Sri Lankan main characters. Rhoda, not so much.
You can find Jeevani on Twitter as @rhodabaxter.
This Stolen Life drew me in from the very first page and didn’t let go until the final page had been turned. A beautiful and heart wrenching read that put me through an emotional wringer as we follow Soma’s journey from poor Sri Lankan girl trying to escape an abusive home, to her new life in England as nanny to recently married new parents Yamuna and Bim.
This book took me by surprise with its beautifully written and poignant storyline. I liked Soma from the moment she was introduced and understood why she made the decision to do what she did, even though it wasn’t easy for her to keep such a huge and dangerous secret. Her shock and bewilderment at her new surroundings were palpable as she tried to acclimatise herself to her new life as nanny to baby Louie.
Soma’s new employer, Yamuna, was a fascinating and integral part of this story. Her struggle to cope as a new mum with obvious postnatal depression was heartbreaking, as was her relationship with her new husband which hadn’t been a match made out of love, but was an arranged marriage that she is doing her best to make work.
When Soma meets Sahan, Yamuna’s cousin, there’s an instant chemistry between them, but as two people from very different Sri Lankan backgrounds will their relationship ever be accepted? And what will happen when the truth about Soma finally emerges?
Sahan teaches Soma how to read and speak English, secretly meeting at the local park during Soma’s daily walks with baby Louie. They slowly fall in love, but with so many obstacles in their way will they ever get the happy ending they both deserve?
I loved Soma and Sahan’s relationship. It developed at a natural pace that felt very authentic to me. From the tense and gripping opening right through to the very last word this was a brilliant and intriguing page turner of a book, but it was Soma and Sahan’s story that stole my heart. I was desperate for them to somehow be able to make it through the storm together, even though I knew it wouldn’t be an outcome that would be easy to achieve.
Yamuna’s battle with postnatal depression was a part of the story that also struck a chord deep within me, and I had so much empathy for this woman who felt so lost and alone. Her story was as important to me as Soma’s, these two women from very different backgrounds struggling to make sense of the world around them.
A beautiful and moving tale filled with emotional turmoil and love, this is a story that took me completely by surprise. A gorgeous and memorable gem of a book with well written and likeable characters who will stay with me for some time to come.
This Stolen Life by Jeevani Charika is available to buy now: Amazon UK
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