I was not ready to stay up all nite to find out what happens in this book, but I did. On a couple of nites recently…
Set in 1928, firmly between the two world wars, the novel tells the story of 3 young women who are part of the “fishing fleet”, the ignominious name given to women who left England for India to find husbands in the “crown jewel” of England’s colonies.
But India is not a dusty colony. It is a thriving, disparate landscape of poverty and castes juxtaposed against the background of English sahibs who colonized and politically and economically strangled fully one third of the Asian land mass.
Viva, Tor and Rose are the protagonists who set out on a liner, Viva as the chaperone to the other two. To capitalize on her passage, she also takes on the chaperoning of a disturbed teenage boy named Guy. Just how disturbed he is, is not immediately apparent.
It’s a terrific story about the intricacies of relationships between men and women, servants and masters, governments and mostly about the relationship between the women themselves.
Thumping good read!