Before The Rains (Dinah Jefferies)

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1930, Rajputana, India. Since her husband’s death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza’s only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she’s determined to make a name for herself. But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince’s handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families – and society – think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what’s expected, or following their hearts. . .

After all the murders and creepy plots, I knew I wanted to read something much different. I needed a book that allowed me to travel around the world in my mind and I knew Dinah Jefferies would be perfect for that. I had always wanted to read her books but I didn’t know where to start.

Before The Rains (don’t you love the beautiful title?) was a captivating and colorful historical novel set in India. Eliza, a young widowed woman, is sent to Rajputana’s castle to photograph the royal family during the course of a year. There, she falls in love with Jayant and discovers many secrets about her childhood and her family that she never knew about…

While this wasn’t my favorite historical read, I found the descriptions and the setting to be wonderful. Dinah Jefferies is a lovely writer and makes you feel like you’re actually living the adventures along with the characters of her books, which is something I really appreciate. The beginning part was my favorite, where we get a glimpse of Eliza’s childhood memories and her first days living in the castle. The ending was too neat in my opinion, but satisfying nonetheless.

The plot was appealing enough and I quickly found myself engaged, I just wish there had been more family secrets and politics and less romance between those two. It’s not that I disliked Jay or Eliza (in fact, Eliza was a pretty amazing main character: strong, considerate and smart), but I didn’t connect with their relationship as much as I would’ve liked. Other characters like the queen and the young miniaturist came across as fascinating and I wanted to know more about them.

In the end, Before The Rains was an evocative and beautifully written book that perhaps felt a bit too long for me. Don’t get me wrong, I highly recommend it if you’re into historical fiction set in exotic locations, but I wish I could’ve loved the plot a bit more. Maybe the next one? I’m definitely in.

Buy Here

Netgalley – Viking, 2017

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Annie

In a past life, I was probably a tortured police detective with a dark and traumatic past. Right now, however, I'm just a twenty-something bookworm who loves listening to old songs and watching 90s movies. I enjoy mystery and crime, southern coming of age stories and historical fiction set in the last century.

24 thoughts on “Before The Rains (Dinah Jefferies)

  1. You’re right about the beautiful title! Sorry you didn’t enjoy as much as you’d have liked. It doesn’t sound like my kind of book at all, but I liked your review! Also, just looked up and noticed you have 500 followers, so congrats on that!

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  2. I read Jeffries last book and it sounds like this is pretty similar. I loved the location and enjoyed the writing but the story fell a bit flat. Great review but I don’t think I’ll be adding to my tbr.

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  3. I actually adore a good historical fiction. They are a welcomed change of pace at times. But I think I prefer mine with a bit more action or intensity. I am intrigued though. This was definitely a lovely and honest review. I like the cover too oddly enough.

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  4. This review is fantastic…and I didn’t miss the stars at all😉 Sounds like the writing was good and the setting sounds awesome, so maybe next time the plot will be a little more what you were looking for:)

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  5. The cover and the title of the book are beautiful and I love books set in India. This sounds like it had a lot of potential, sorry to hear that the plot didn’t quite deliver. Glad to hear about the writing though. I may check this one out though I am trying to stay away from all things romance 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I knoooow, the romance part was what made me like it a bit less. And then I read police procedurals and wait for the cops to fall in love hahaha I don’t know what I want!

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  6. It seemed like, based on the synopsis, that this would totally be a romance book. I wasn’t sure why there would be a secret, or a mystery, but then again, doesn’t ever romance these days have some kind of deep secret? You’re funny 🙂

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