‘LOVE LOVE LOVED this fabulous novel… I couldn’t put it down… Stunning and beautifully written… Will transport you through time and across the world from England to India… Highly recommended.’ NetGalley reviewer
India, 1926: English Margaret arrives with her new husband Suraj at his family home, set amidst beautiful rolling hills, the air filled with the soft scent of spices and hibiscus flowers. Margaret is unwelcome, homesick and lonely, but her maid Archana, a young woman from an impoverished family, reminds her of her long-lost sister, a tiny glimpse of home in a faraway place.
As Margaret and Archana spend more time together, an unexpected friendship blooms. But in British India the divide between rich and poor, English and Indian, is wide, and the clash between Margaret’s modern views and the weight of tradition on Archana will lead to devastating results…
England, 2000: When Emma’s grandmother gives her a mysterious painting, and asks her to take a message of forgiveness to an old friend in India, Emma is relieved to have some time and space to make a decision about her future. But as she fulfils her grandmother’s wish, a secret kept for over seventy years is finally revealed – the story of a day spent painting by a stream full of water lilies, where a betrayal tore three lives apart forever…
Perfect for fans of Kathryn Hughes, Lucinda Riley and The Storyteller’s Secret, Renita D’Silva’s exquisite novel explores the strength it takes to do what is right, no matter the cost.
What readers are saying about The Girl in the Painting:
‘Beautifully written… I loved this story, and would 100% recommend this to anyone… Really emotive!’ Hannah Writes Reviews, 5 stars
‘Wonderful book… The love and betrayal faced by Margaret and the loneliness and despair faced by Archana is beautifully conveyed leaving me teary-eyed at many stages.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Oh boy, this book did not disappoint. The story was so well thought out, intricate and full bodied. At the end of the first chapter, it leaves you with a question from one of the characters, that you want the answer to. That was me hooked right till the end… You get such a sense of each character, and your heart breaks for both of them… It just engrosses you, so you go on the journey with them… Side note, grab your tissues… I can't recommend this book enough. Renita is such a talented writer, and a great storyteller.’ jth books, 5 stars
‘Lovely. Touching. Affecting… Her writing and plotting are so strong… Wonderfully descriptive. You feel as if you have been transported… A compelling story of how actions can have ramifications that go past your lifetime… Touching… Heartrending… I loved this book.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Wonderful.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Highly recommend… 5 stars out of 5.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
When pregnant Jaya loses her mother, then her baby son Arun in a tragic cot death, her world crashes down. Overcome by grief and guilt, she begins to search for answers – to the enigma of her lonely, distant mother, and her mysterious past in India.
Looking through her mother’s belongings, she finds two diaries and old photographs, carrying the smoky aroma of fire. A young boy smiles out at Jaya from every photograph – and in one, a family stand proudly in front of a sprawling mansion. Who is this child? And why did her mother treasure this memento of a regal family lost to the past?
As Jaya starts to read the diaries, their secrets lead her back to India, to the ruin of a once grand house on a hill. There, Kali, a mad old lady, will unlock the story of a devastating lie and a fire that tore a family apart.
Nothing though will prepare Jaya for the house’s final revelation, which will change everything Jaya knew about herself.
If you enjoy Dinah Jefferies, Lucinda Riley and Santa Montefiore, you will love this unforgettable journey through the lush landscape of India to the heart of what it means to be a mother and daughter.
What everyone is saying about A Mother’s Secret:
‘5 out of 5 stars…I read it in one shot because I couldn’t bear to stop…what I can promise you is that it is a great read…A book that was an absolute pleasure to read.’ Any Excuse to Read
‘I loved this book, the descriptions of India, the mansion, the food and the people are swoon worthy. And the characters are so real, so believable, so frail and fraught with their own mistakes, I felt like I was an observer, watching real people as I read this book.’ For the Love of Books
‘I was hooked...I absolutely adored this book…This won my heart…5*.’ Laura’s Book Blog Corner‘From the very beginning A Mother’s Secret by Renita D’Silva has rightfully bagged its place in my list of favourite books…The character development is phenomenal and these are characters that will remain etched in my memory for a long time…D’Silva weaves magic with her words…To say that D’Silva is a brilliant writer would not be an exaggeration…There were times during the course of the story that I became aware of goosebumps on my skin because of the very raw emotions…wonderful’ Indian Fiction for You ‘Love, loss, deceit, envy, pride, heartache …well-written, entertaining and satisfying.’ Janni B’s Books ‘Renita’s wonderful writing…radiates from the pages…an absorbing story…a story that unfolded layer by layer into what proved to be a beautifully crafted piece of writing where the author laid bare her heart and soul on every page…had me hooked throughout…a remarkable book…a feast for the senses and your imagination. I really was transported…once it caught me in its hold it didn’t let go until that jaw dropping moment near the very end that had me gasping out loud. I was beginning to wonder how all the dots as such could by joined together but the author did it with a mixture of sensitivity and flair that leaves the reader satisfied and very impressed.’ Shaz’s Book Blog ‘Beautifully written . . . Renita D’Silva skilfully weaves an enthralling tale . . . In so doing, she manages to seamlessly incorporate love, betrayal, disappointment, heartbreak, deceit and victory. This is a wonderful, evocative story that readers will easily embrace and enjoy.’ Jan’s Book Buzz
Anyone who enjoys the storytelling of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain, Heather Gudenkauf or Dorothy Koomson will love Monsoon Memories.
'from start to finish I loved this book and couldn't recommend it more.' NovelEscapes.com
Exiled from her family in India for more than a decade, Shirin and her husband lead a comfortable but empty life in London. Memories of her childhood: exotic fragrances, colours, stifling heat and tropical storms fill Shirin with a familiar and growing ache for the land and the people that she loves. With the recollections though, come dark clouds of scandal and secrets. Secrets that forced her to flee her old life and keep her from ever returning.
Thousands of miles away, in Bangalore, the daughter of Shirin's brother discovers a lost, forgotten photograph. One that has escaped the flames. Determined to solve the mystery of an aunt she never knew, Reena's efforts will set in place a chain of events that expose the painful trauma of the past and irrevocably change the path of the future.Praise for Monsoon Memories
D'Silva weaves a tale so rich and complex in detail and history that I found it quite impossible to put the book down. The characters really came to life for me and I grew attached and invested in them and what was going to happen. The details are rich, vivid and so well described that I truly felt at times that I was there or at least was hearing the story first hand from the main character... from start to finish I loved this book and couldn't recommend it more.' 5/5. NovelEscapes.com
'It mesmerized me with its poignant narration and heart-warming storyand kept me hooked until the last page. 9/10. ChickLitClub.com
'A wonderfully dramatic and poignant debut novel from Renita D'Silva. I was captivated by the characters and their plight. I was intrigued by what deep secret could have torn the family apart. What caused Shirin so much grief that she was haunted by the Eyes that would follow her during her daydreams and nightmares? My heart broke for Shirin, she exiled herself to the UK but longed for her family in India but wondered if they could ever forgive her. I could empathize with young Reena, an only child in India, who stumbled on a photograph of this forgotten woman and was determined to find out more about her. I simply could not put this book down and although I figured out the secret about half way through, I had to know what would happen and if the family could resolve their issues.'Momssmallvictories.com
'a really moving and poignant story.' Novelicious.com
'Full of gorgeously crafted settings and descriptions, you'll be pulled into this lush novel. Renita paints the most beautiful images with a few, perfectly chosen words. Monsoon Memories is a book to fall in love with.'KimTalksBooks.com
'Monsoon Memories by Renita D'Silva is an honest, captivating peek at the human heart, the haunting power of memories and the fierce power of truth. Beautifully written, Monsoon Memories is an engaging, thought-provoking story that will remain with you long after the final page.'Heather Gudenkauf
'A delightful story, with riveting characters and a mystery guaranteed to tease and tantalise the reader right till the end. And what a feast for the senses - Renita D'Silva is a genius at evoking the sounds, sights and aromas of India. A major new talent - I can't wait for her next novel.' Linda Kavanagh No. 1 bestselling author of Never Say Goodbye