Time to hand the blog over to Mandie who has a review of This Stolen Life by Jeevani Charika. Thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting us to join the tour and to publisher Hera Books for providing the advance copy for review. Here is what the book is about:
About the Book
Would you tell the truth, if it meant losing your one true love?Available from: Amazon UK | Amazon US
Soma is a shy young woman adrift in a strange new country. After moving from Sri Lanka to Yorkshire to become a nanny to baby Louis, Soma tries to settle into life in the U.K., even if every day presents her with a new challenge, from trying new food or getting to grips with the language.
But the one thing Soma never counted on was falling in love. When she meets Sahan, a Sri Lankan student at the local university, the two feel an instant attraction. Meeting in secret so that Sahan can teach Soma English, their friendship quickly blooms into something more. But their differing backgrounds – Soma is from poverty, while Sahan is the son of a wealthy family and cousin to Soma’s employer – means they have to hide their love from the world.
While they bare their souls to each other, Sahan has no idea that Soma is hiding a huge secret from him – but as her lies come crashing down, Soma is faced with an impossible choice. Should she tell the truth – even if means losing Sahan?
A moving, unique and utterly engrossing love story about how well we really know the person we fall in love with – fans of Amanda Prowse, Jojo Moyes and Diane Chamberlain will be captivated.
I will admit that this is probably a book that I would not have normally considered reading but I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and found myself racing though it as I became engaged with the characters and their lives.
Jaya is hoping to make a new life for herself away from her abusive stepfather. Making her escape once her family is asleep she meets Somavathi who is travelling to the UK to take up a position as a nanny to a Sri Lankan family living in Hull. When the bus crashes and Somavathi is killed, Jaya makes a snap decision to take on the dead girls identity and disappear for good.
This Stolen Life is a very touching story not just of Jaya as she becomes Somavathi or Soma as she decides to shorten her name to but also that of Yamuna, the mother of the child that she is looking after and Sahan, Yamuna’s cousin who is studying at Hull University.
Each one of them is struggling with life in England and their upbringing. Exploring prejudices within their own culture based upon status and how as their lives become more intertwined they challenge these ideals even if it does mean disappointing family and going against tradition.
Despite the fact that Soma stole an identity to create a new life for herself I still found myself hoping that she would find peace with her actions even though you knew at some point her secret would be discovered and she possibly have to pay for her deception. Essentially she was not a bad person but circumstance and opportunity led her to make a bad decision.
The author has created truly engaging characters that are believable and a story that is applicable the world over. I found myself not wanting to put the book down. I found it refreshing to read a story where rather than the threats to Soma starting over coming from outside influences, they were in fact from someone from Sri Lanka who had his own agenda and a big chip on his shoulder regarding his own background and status in life. This is the first book I have read by this author but based on what I have read I look forward to seeing what comes next. If you are looking for something a little bit different then I would recommend you pick up this book hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
About the Author
Jeevani Charika writes women’s fiction and contemporary romances with a hint of British cynicism. (In case you were wondering, it’s pronounced Jeev-uh-nee.)
There’s a whole lot of other stuff she could tell you – but mainly: she’s a former scientist, an adult fan of Lego, an embarrassing mum, a part time geek (see ’embarrassing mum’) and a Very Short Person.
She also writes romantic comedy under the pen name Rhoda Baxter. So why the two names? Well… Jeevani writes about British-Sri Lankan main characters. Rhoda, not so much.
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