REVIEW: Before The Rains by Dinah Jefferies

This vibrant and colourful novel is a love story about overcoming all obstacles, including culture and tradition. 


Gorgeously written, with a multitude of different topics covered, Jefferies has created a novel that has many beautiful and poignant moments that absorb the reader’s attention from beginning to end.

Before the Rains follows the story of recently widowed Eliza, who is sent to India with her camera to photograph the Royal Family. But she didn’t count on meeting Jay, the prince’s brother. As she falls in love with him, there are a number of people who disapprove of their growing relationship and would do anything to keep the couple apart.

What Dinah Jeffries does is paint an exotic picture of  India in 1930 – on the brink of change but very much traditional in outlook, filled with history and protocols that Eliza has to negotiate in an increasingly tense and suspicious palace. Jeffries has provided a lot of in depth detail about the suspicion on both the British and Indian sides and the pros and increasing cons of the Empire with Eliza and Jay put right at the centre of everybody’s attention.

But the author is also able to interweave Eliza’s past and future together in such a way that you are swept along with her journey effortlessly as she comes to terms with revelations of her own past and trying to deal with her guilt.

There is no doubting the beautiful way in which the novel has been written, it is as much a love letter to India as it is about Eliza and Jay’s story. Yes, there are many moments which are really heart-wrenching, but there are also plenty of moments that are tender between Jay and Eliza that prove that the hardships are clearly worth what they have together.

In effect, Before the Rains is a vivid and engaging novel that combines politics, family and romance to mesmerising effect. Well worth a read.

Before the Rains by Dinah Jefferies is available to buy through Amazon now. 

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