Cover image for Monsoon summer
Title:
Monsoon summer
Author:
Gregson, Julia, author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Touchstone, 2016.

©2016
Physical Description:
451 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"An epic love story moving from England to India, about the forbidden love between a young Indian doctor and an English midwife. Oxfordshire, 1947. Kit Smallwood, hiding a painful secret and exhausted from nursing soldiers during the Second World War, escapes to Wickam Farm where her friend is setting up a charity sending midwives to the Moonstone Home in South India. Then Kit meets Anto, an Indian doctor finishing his medical training at Oxford. But Kit's light skinned mother is in fact Anglo-Indian with secrets of her own, and Anto is everything she does not want for her daughter. Despite the threat of estrangement, Kit is excited for the future, hungry for adventure, and deeply in love. She and Anto secretly marry and set off for South India--where Kit plans to run the maternity hospital she's helped from afar. But Kit's life in India does not turn out as she imagined. Anto's large, traditional family wanted him to marry an Indian bride and find it hard to accept Kit. Their relationship under immense strain, Kit's job is also fraught with tension as they both face a newly independent India, where riots have left millions dead and there is deep-rooted suspicion of the English. In a rapidly changing world, Kit's naiveté is to land her in a frightening and dangerous situation."--
General Note:
"A novel"--Jacket.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781476725260

9781501139765
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

By the award-winning author of East of the Sun, an epic love story moving from England to India, about the forbidden love between a young Indian doctor and an English midwife.

Oxfordshire, 1947. Kit Smallwood, hiding a painful secret and exhausted from nursing soldiers during the Second World War, escapes to Wickam Farm where her friend is setting up a charity sending midwives to the Moonstone Home in South India.

Then Kit meets Anto, an Indian doctor finishing his medical training at Oxford. But Kit's light skinned mother is in fact Anglo-Indian with secrets of her own, and Anto is everything she does not want for her daughter.

Despite the threat of estrangement, Kit is excited for the future, hungry for adventure, and deeply in love. She and Anto secretly marry and set off for South India--where Kit plans to run the maternity hospital she's helped from afar.

But Kit's life in India does not turn out as she imagined. Anto's large, traditional family wanted him to marry an Indian bride and find it hard to accept Kit. Their relationship under immense strain, Kit's job is also fraught with tension as they both face a newly independent India, where riots have left millions dead and there is deep-rooted suspicion of the English. In a rapidly changing world, Kit's naiveté is to land her in a frightening and dangerous situation...

Based on true accounts of European midwives in India, Monsoon Summer is a powerful story of secrets, the nature of home, the comforts and frustrations of family, and how far we'll go to be with those we love.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In the aftermath of WWII, Kit Smallwood leaves bombed-out London for the respite of Oxfordshire to help a family friend set up Moonstone Home, a maternity hospital in India. Kit, a former midwifery student too traumatized to finish her training, intends to restrict herself to administrative work until she meets Anto, an Indian doctor who is doing translation for the charity. Defying the objections of Kit's mother and the arranged marriage waiting for Anto, they marry and set off for India. But while Kit arrives optimistic about her marriage and her work, before long she is chafing against the restrictions placed on her by Anto's traditional family and by a society that looks down on midwives. As she is drawn further into the world of Moonstone Home, anti-English sentiment in newly independent India begins to threaten both her work and those she loves. Gregson (Jasmine Nights, 2012) draws on accounts of the experiences of English midwives in India to weave a compelling tale of the complex ties of family, class, and culture.--Harmon, Lindsay Copyright 2016 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

This ambitious historical novel from Gregson (East of the Sun) follows British nurse and aspiring midwife Kit Smallwood, who marries an Oxford-educated doctor, Anto Thekkeden, and moves with him to India shortly after the country gains independence in 1947. Haunted by the death of a baby on her watch, Kit is reluctant to pursue her midwife certificate. Nonetheless, she promises family friend Daisy Barker that she'll help get Daisy's favorite charity, a clinic for poor women called the Moonstone, up and running. Kit and Anto soon realize that their idealistic plans will be challenged by Anto's wealthy high-caste family. Kit is especially disparaged by Anto's mother, Kunjamma, who hoped that after his long absence abroad he would marry a local girl of similar status. Kit learns that the Moonstone is in dire need of staff and supplies, and begins to dedicate more and more of her time to the increasingly risky job, much to her new family's chagrin. Strong characters make Gregson's novel a powerhouse. The need to preserve honor and avoid shame drives the Thekkeden clan and leads them to keep secrets from one another that snowball. Kit's desire to help people eventually gets her into trouble with both her family and the law. Gregson does a fantastic job of pitting conventional ways against progressive thinking without demonizing either side. This story covers a lot of ground-family vs. the other, new vs. old, science vs. superstition-and only falters when bending the plot a certain way at convenient points. This small flaw doesn't detract from a powerful and memorable novel. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

In 1947, Kit Smallwood and her mother have escaped bombed-out London for the fresh country air at their friend Daisy's estate. Kit served as a nurse during World War II and was only a few deliveries short of becoming a qualified midwife until tragedy drove her away. Now she has the opportunity to help Daisy in her efforts to aid a maternity home in India. At Daisy's estate, Kit meets Anto, a young Indian doctor, and they fall in love against the wishes of Kit's mother. After a whirlwind wedding, the couple arrives in a newly independent India where both their marriage and Kit's dreams will be severely tested. Gregson's (after East of the Sun) latest historical title examines the challenges faced by Indian midwives both from distrustful and superstitious women and angry men willing to resort to violence to stop them. However, the focus here is on Kit and her difficulties in adjusting to married life and dovetailing her own views with the reality of living in India. Verdict Historical fiction fans will be fascinated by this multilayered story about a brave but naïve young woman and a country in the midst of political and cultural change.-Christina Thurairatnam, Holmes Cty. Dist. P.L., Millersburg, OH © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.