Reading to escape. . . to India.

For years my husband and I traveled to India in the winter. More recently, we have gone in the summer – mainly to accommodate the schedules of friends who wanted to join us. New Delhi during the great heat wave of 2017? Yes, we were there. Needless to say, I’d have given nearly anything to be there this year regardless of weather – at this point, heat, locusts, wind storms. Bring it on.

Instead, I’ve revisited some of my favorite books set in India. Among them is the wonderful mystery series by Sujata Massey featuring the crime solving adventures of Perveen Mistry, Bombay’s first female lawyer. Her award winning novels capture the place and time, and her protagonist is a delightful mix of traditional respect and modern know how, perfect for the changing world of 1920s India.

While awaiting Sujata’s next book I discovered Alka Joshi, author of THE HENNA ARTIST. Set in Rajasthan in late 1955, it is a vibrant, beautiful book about a woman earning her personal financial independence at the moment when India has declared it’s political independence from the United Kingdom. Her beautiful prose transported me immediately to the Pink City of Jaipur, where the story of personal desire intertwined with family loyalty unfolds.

I suspect my literary trip through India will continue, although I haven’t quite settled on my next title. I’m certainly open for suggestions.


    1. I didn’t blog from India…. which perhaps was a mistake since I could have gone back now and read about it. The first years we were there I would have commented on how quickly the Indians feel the winter cold – big outdoor bonfires at events when the temperature dipped to 70. They would be wrapped in gorgeous embroidered shawls and I would be wearing ‘summer’ clothes. Later, when we went in the summer, there were some extreme temperatures… 120 for example. And the hotels would worry about us, handing out bottled water, constantly warning about heat stroke, which was correct, and which seemed to indicate they anticipated many foreigners doing too much and collapsing. Since planning is much of the fun of travel, pick a time a few years out and start traveling ‘on paper’. I’d say go to Rajastan first, the heart of the crafts tradition. You will love it.

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