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5+ stars for Indira and Daisy by Rosemary Morris #yalit #diversity #friendship #fiction #bookreview

Title: Indira and Daisy

Author: Rosemary Morris

Genre: Young Adult, Diverse Fiction, Friendship Fiction

Book Blurb:

Grammar schoolgirls fourteen-year-old Indira Nathwani and Daisy Royston have been best friends since they were four years old. Indira lives in Southeast England with her wealthy Hindu family, an older brother, pious grandfather, parents, and aunt and uncle. In their temple room her grandfather teaches her to worship and serve God with love and devotion. Daisy lives with her mother, a single parent who works hard to provide for her. Since her devout Christian grandmother’s death, Daisy rarely attends church. Sometimes she and Indira agree to disagree about their cultures and religions, but it never affects their friendship. However, Indira, who is not allowed to go out alone, is envious of her best friend’s freedom. Daisy’s only known relative is her mother, who she loves and appreciates, but she struggles not to envy Indira for having a large, perfect family. Daisy stays at the Nathwani’s house to celebrate Diwali and the Hindu new year on the next day. To reciprocate, Daisy’s mother invites Indira to stay for three nights at her house to celebrate Christmas. The Nathwani family’s refusal leads to tragedy, which Indira is blamed for, then a shocking revelation causes distress. Indira is distraught and Daisy realises Indira’s family is not perfect. Editorial Review “A fascinating view of two vastly different cultures shown through these two teenage girls.” Maggi Andersen

My Review:

Two best friends from different backgrounds and beliefs celebrate the holidays with dramatic consequences. Indira and Daisy is a candid story about family, culture, religion, and friendship. The writing is pristine and without flaws. Rosemary Morris does a wonderful job showcasing both Hindu and Christian culture but through the eyes of teen best mates. Indira and Daisy will have an impact on those who read it, as it did me.

Let’s start with the characters. Indira is the embodiment of a young teen Indian girl with an extended family all under one roof. Sure, she has restrictions, but she lives happily within the rules. Until she doesn’t. Daisy is your average British teen. She identifies as a Christian but doesn’t go to church. She wishes she could have a big family like Indira. Each girl is honestly written with her own voice, wants, needs, and questions on life. Because the writing is flawless, I got to experience everything through their lens. It made for addictive reading.

The narration is descriptive and emotive. Each scene is detailed so the reader can be immersed into the story. The narration stays true to the cultural traditions and beliefs with I found fascinating.

The writing is brilliant from start to finish. Everything from the narration to the dialogue to the tension to the action to the characters is expertly executed. Rosemary Morris grabs the reader and doesn’t let go. What a moving piece of fiction.

An honest portrayal of diversity among friends and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

My Rating: 5+ stars

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Author Biography:

There is a gigantic canvas for a historical novelist to choose from.

I am a multi-published historical novelist whose novels are set in the reign of Charles II’s niece, Queen Anne Stuart, who reigned from 1702 to 1714, and the ever popular Regency era. I have also written a mediaeval novel set in in the reign of Edward II.

I chose those periods because each of them affected the course of history. If the Duke of Marlborough had not won The War of Spanish Succession, and The Duke of Wellington had been defeated by Napoleon at The Battle of Waterloo, the history of Britain and that of Europe would be different. Defeat would also have had far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world. If Edward II had won the Battle of Bannockburn, it is feasible that he would have conquered Scotland and, perhaps, as it is claimed, he would not have been murdered.

The more I read about my chosen eras the more fascinated I become, and the more aware of the gulf between the past and present. Those who lived in the past shared the same emotions as we do, but their attitudes and way of life were in many ways very different to ours. One of the most striking examples was the social position of women and children in in bygone ages.

My characters, are of their time, not men, women and children dressed in costume who behave like 21st century people.

Research of my chosen eras sparks my imagination. The seeds of my novels are sown, and from them sprout the characters and events which will shape their lives.

I was born in Kent. As a child, when I was not making up stories, my head was ‘always in a book.’

While working in a travel agency, I met my Hindu husband. He encouraged me to continue my education at Westminster College. In 1961 I and my husband, by then a barrister, moved to his birthplace, Kenya, where I lived from 1961 until 1982. After an attempted coup d’état, four of my children lived with me in an ashram in France.

Back in England, I wrote historical fiction, joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association, The Historical Novel Society, Watford Writers and online groups.

Apart from writing, I enjoy classical Indian literature, reading, visiting places of historical interest, vegetarian cooking, growing organic fruit, herbs and vegetables and creative crafts.

My bookshelves are so crammed with historical non-fiction, which I use to research my novels, that if I buy a new book I have to consider getting rid of one.

Time spent with my five children and their families, most of whom live near me, is precious.

The second editions of my historical novels and my new ones will be published by Books We Love.

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Reviewed by: Nancy

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