Teatime for the Firefly
By Shona Patel
Hello fellow book worms!!! If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed I have been missing in action for a while!! I have just returned from a wonderful vacation with my family in Sanibel Island, Florida!!! We all had a wonderful time!! There was sand, sun, and a ton of wildlife!! Birds were everywhere and we saw many dolphins and manatees. It was a true glimpse of paradise!!
I am back home now and I thought that I would try to get back into the regular swing of things again. I still have one more week off work and hope to get a few books read. I didn’t do much reading and relaxing in Sanibel. There was so much to do there!! I have finished a couple of books in the last few weeks. I just haven’t had time to write any reviews. So let’s get back down to the books!!
Teatime for the Firefly is another library book find. It is actually a Harlequin book. Now I have to say that Harlequin has come a long way through out the years. Back in the 1980’s the Harlequin romances were short, trashy and lacked any depth. They were written at about a fourth grade reading level. I vowed at one time never to read another one. Well here it is years later and this book is an improvement over their past novels. This book was released in September of 2013.
Layla Roy has defied the fates.
Despite being born under an inauspicious horoscope, she is raised to be educated and independent by her eccentric grandfather, Dadamoshai. And, by cleverly manipulating the hand fortune has dealt her, she has even found love with Manik Deb—a man betrothed to another. All were minor miracles in India that spring of 1943, when young women’s lives were predetermined—if not by the stars, then by centuries of family tradition and social order.
Layla’s life as a newly married woman takes her away from home and into the jungles of Assam, where the world’s finest tea thrives on plantations run by native labor and British efficiency. Fascinated by this culture of whiskey-soaked expats who seem fazed by neither earthquakes nor man-eating leopards, she struggles to find her place among the prickly English wives with whom she is expected to socialize, and the peculiar servants she now finds under her charge.
But navigating the tea-garden set will hardly be her biggest challenge. Layla’s remote home is not safe from the powerful changes sweeping India on the heels of the Second World War. Their colonial society is at a tipping point, and Layla and Manik find themselves caught in a perilous racial divide that threatens their very lives (Goodreads).
Overall I enjoyed this book, It had an interesting setting and time period. The writer gives us a good idea of what struggles Layla had to face as a young woman in India, from her life at home and later as a married woman. Layla was fortunate that she was able to break from many of the expectations of Indian tradition. I loved the descriptions of India and the tea plantation life. Unfortunately I did not feel that strong of an attachment to the characters, there needed to be something that swept you into to the story and their lives. I think that it is missing the depth of an emotional connection. I felt that this was a good story, but it could’ve been a great story!!! I give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars.