Read Schatten über dem Mond by M.M. Kaye Free Online
Book Title: Schatten über dem Mond|
The author of the book: M.M. Kaye
Date of issue: 1989
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 17.76 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2106 times
Reader ratings: 7.8
ISBN 13: 9783596281497
Read full description of the books:
4.5 stars. Shadow of the Moon is a great historical epic, with love and hate, treachery and courage, set in India during the Sepoy Rebellion in the 1850s.
M.M. Kaye takes her time setting up the story, beginning it with the parents and grandparents of the main character, a half-English, half-Spanish girl with the unlikely name of Winter. Winter spends her first six years contentedly living in India, but when her parents die, she is sent to live with her English relatives. It's not a particularly happy situation for anyone involved, except for Winter's great-grandfather, the Earl of Ware and the patriarch of the family, who loves Winter. But Lord Ware is aging and frail, and so when there's a chance to betroth Winter (at age 11!!) to an older Englishman (in his 30's!!!) who's living in India and needs a (wealthy) bride, Winter and her great-grandfather both think that's a great idea, with plans to seal the deal marry the two once Winter comes of age.
Unfortunately, the intervening years don't do her betrothed any good: Conway Barton has always liked to party and sleep around, but by the time Winter is 17 he's a fat, lazy old drunkard (who still likes to party and sleep around). Rather than traveling to England himself, Conway sends for Winter to come to India and marry him there, figuring he can get her to tie the knot quickly, before she figures out what kind of a man he is, if she's alone and friendless.
Conway sends his young, handsome subordinate, Alex Randall, to escort Winter to India, which seems an odd and risky choice for Conway, but you have to roll with it. The meeting of Alex and 17 year old Winter does not go well; he feels honor-bound to try to warn her that she's marrying a fat, dissipated fool, and she can't believe he's bad-mouthing his superior officer and her fiancé like that! So off Winter goes to India, where a lecherous, depraved fiancé is only the first of the many problems and disappointments that she will be dealing with.
I got a little impatient with Winter in the first part of the book. She's so young and almost willfully blind, but you have to make allowances for a Victorian-era upbringing. And she grows up fast. Alex is a great character, intelligent and brave, loyal to his country but mightily struggling with short-sighted decisions that his superior officers are making about how to handle the volatile situation in India. Winter isn't the only one with blind spots.
M.M. Kaye doesn't pull any punches here, and the characters go through some really harrowing experiences. The death and mayhem during the Sepoy Rebellion is terrible, but overall historically accurate, and it's described in detail here. Between this book and The Far Pavilions, Kaye's other epic about historic India, I've learned a lot that I had never known about India in the 1800's, and it's been fascinating.
Indian Sepoys (infantry soldiers in the British East India Company army)
The ending is a bit abrupt; I would have liked an epilogue or something telling me a bit more about the fates of the characters after the fighting ended(view spoiler)[, especially Lottie's baby! Does Lou keep her? (hide spoiler)]. I think The Far Pavilions is the better book of the two, by a thin margin, but I highly recommend both of these novels to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Reading this reminded me of James Clavell's Shōgun, with fictional British characters in a foreign society with very different manners and ways.
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Read information about the authorM. M. Kaye (Mary Margaret) was born in India and spent her early childhood and much of her early-married life there. Her family ties with the country are strong: her grandfather, father, brother and husband all served the British Raj. After India's independence, her husband, Major-General Goff Hamilton of Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides (the famous Indian Army regiment featured in The Far Pavilions), joined the British Army and for the next nineteen years M. M. Kaye followed the drum to Kenya, Zanzibar, Egypt, Cyprus and Germany.
M. M. Kaye won worldwide fame for The Far Pavilions, which became a worldwide best-seller on publication in 1978. This was followed by Shadow of the Moon and Trade Wind. She also wrote and illustrated The Ordinary Princess, a children's book and authored a dozen detective novels, including Death in Kashmir and Death in Zanzibar. Her autobiography has been published in three volumes, collectively entitled Share of Summer: The Sun in the Morning, Golden Afternoon, and Enchanted Evening. In March 2003, M. M. Kaye was awarded the Colonel James Tod International Award by the Maharana Mewar Foundation of Udaipur, Rajasthan, for her "contribution of permanent value reflecting the spirit and values of Mewar".
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