1974. After a scandal that disgraced her family, Charulata Apte, almost twenty-one, travels to Miss Timmins’ School For Girls in Panchgani. While teaching Shakespeare to the privileged Indian girls, where she is drawn to the charismatic fellow teacher Moira who teaches her what freedom really can be like.
When one night a body is found near the school, fingers are pointing at Charu. Three of the students take on the task of trying to solve the murder to show the true innocence of their teacher.
There is a setting here that appealed to me…. a remote area of India (one honestly, I had never heard of before), a young teacher trying to start over and make meaning of her life, and a murder that sets the stage for something more.
What I appreciated about the book was how author Nayana Currimbhoy brought to me a main character in Charu who did not like herself much. She has a past she has tried to leave behind. Her shyness and low self-esteem are heart breaking, yet enter Moira, who breathes life into this painful shell of a girl.
It is after the murder that you really start to see Charu come into herself.
The murder wasnt the attention grabber of the book I was thinking it would be. If you read this for yourself you will find it to be more of a “plot builder.” While I like the big “Holy cow! What just happened???”. moments in books… this fit with the flow of the book.
I have said before that I struggle with books with loads of characters and this book does have many. I personally prefer books where I get to know a handful of characters well, then many characters sort of, and I tend to spend time thinking of who they are, and backtracking in the book to see if they are they the one that _____________.
In the end, while an interesting read, it was over stuffed with information that made me wonder if it would not have been better served as a two or three book series to give the reader a chance to really ease into a book that has great potential of hitting a home run.
I received this book as part of a TLC Book Tour