Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for The Morning Star by Gita V. Reddy. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and to the author for my digital review copy.
About the Book
Anything is possible if fate wills it.
A desperate woman calls a neighbour before dying in childbirth. Is it a coincidence that she chooses someone who will give her all to save the baby from its unscrupulous father?
When Sudha answers a telephone call in the middle of the night, she cannot know how it will change her life. From the first, she feels a strong connection with the motherless baby. She brings her home and names her after the Arundhati star. Sudha loves Arundhati – Anu as she calls her – as much as she does her son. She is the daughter of her heart, a precious gift that fate has given her. As the threat to Anu’s safety increases, she grows desperate and takes a drastic step to protect the baby.
Only, it might cost her everything she holds dear…
Format: Paperback (329 pages) Publisher:
Publication date: 30th August 2020 Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Find The Morning Star on Goodreads
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Having previously read the author’s two short story collections, Happiness Is A Collage and A Tapestry Of Tears, I was intrigued at the prospect of experiencing her writing in novel length form. Even more so since I also enjoyed her book, Outside the Magic Circle, exploring the private life of Charles Dickens and revealing his cruel treatment of his wife Catherine, mother of his children.
Described as “a story of love, sacrifice and the unseen hand of destiny”, The Morning Star takes the reader on an emotional – and literal – journey as Sudha attempts to fulfil her neighbour Prerna’s dying wish that she keep her newborn daughter safe from Prerna’s alcoholic husband. Sudha soon finds herself forced to choose between respecting the wishes of her husband Vinay, her responsibilities for her young son Raghu and her sincere conviction that destiny has chosen her to be the protector of the baby she names Arundhati. Her choice sets her on a path that jeopardizes her marriage, forces her to venture outside the relatively enclosed life she has led so far, and brings challenges and risks she can never have imagined.
Although Sudha’s actions may appear rash, even naïve at times, they are clearly motivated by her love for Arundhati, the daughter she would have loved to have, and by her own experiences as a child. This makes her a very sympathetic character. And I’m sure I’m not the only reader to give a little cheer the first time she, in her words, “stands her ground”, answering back to yet another mean comment from her cousin Lavanya.
A chance encounter on a train journey results in an unlikely friendship which brings Sudha (who is somewhat of an innocent abroad, at one point describing herself as “a boat without oars in a fast-moving river”) much needed practical help. It also leads to Sudha and Arundhati finding an unexpected refuge as well as a source of love and support, just at the moment they need it most.
The novel’s references to smartphones, Instagram and Netflix place it very much in the here and now, even more so as the author very cleverly weaves current world events into the storyline. However, as in her previous books, the central story is accompanied by fascinating insights into Indian culture, religious belief and social customs. Oh, and delicious sounding food.
The Morning Star is a moving family drama set against the backdrop of modern day India. It will take you on an emotional journey, one you won’t want to forget for a while.
In three words: Emotional, touching, hopeful
Try something similar: The Borrowed Boy by Deborah Klee
About the Author
Gita V. Reddy lives in Hyderabad, India, with her husband and son. She writes fiction for both adults and children. Her books for children are written when she takes a break from writing for adults and vice versa. She enjoys thinking up tales in different genres and has written historical fiction, women’s fiction and has recently made a foray into Regency romance. For children, she has written mysteries, adventure tales, fantasy, science fiction and also a fable. In addition to writing, she is interested in art and has illustrated three picture books.
Gita Reddy also writes under the pen names of Heera Datta and Jessica Spencer (for Regency romance). Ms. Reddy is a postgraduate in Mathematics. In an earlier life, that she voluntarily quit in 2011, she was a senior manager in a bank. To know more about her and her writing journey, visit her website.