Published: 28/02/2017
ISBN: 9781785899201
eISBN: 9781785897917
Format: Paperback/eBook



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About the Author



M-J Carreyette joined her local weekly newspaper as a trainee reporter at the age of 18. It was the start of a lifetime in newspapers which ended abruptly in 2013 when the regional daily she then work... read more

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A Present from India
by M-J Carreyette

A tragic death first plunges a family into grief, then launches a widow and her daughter on a voyage of discovery. Intent on uncovering their family roots, they travel to India.

Dee, a teacher in her thirties, wants to find out where her late father’s elusive relatives came from. But Eva, her mother, has a private agenda. She wants to track down someone she once knew long ago, when she was young.

The story skips between generations, from modern-day India back in time to Soviet Moscow, a place in an era now lost, where Eva was a student in the 1970s.

Can either woman accomplish her mission in the limited time they have as they travel around the sub-continent trying to overcome the obstacles that keep appearing in their path? Can a secret be revealed at last? Rash actions can have long-term consequences, after all.

As Eva promises Dee, it will be an interesting journey. Perhaps a little too interesting at times . . .

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Secrets, affairs, revelations, shocks, international marriages, reunions . . . everything it takes for a box office hit in Hindi cinema is here in this suspenseful novel.
The residue of colonial hangover has now become part of British-Indian relations at all levels, from diplomatic to interpersonal. English journalist M-J Carreyette's story centres on Eva Singh, a mother figure such as you find in Virginia Woolf novels.
Eva's husband Prakash Singh dies suddenly, and the death of this loving husband, doting father and very dear grandfather sends Eva and her daughter on a journey to uncover his roots in India.
In flashback, the author takes readers to Soviet Moscow before returning to India for the thrilling hunt for the Singh clan. They enjoy the rich culture of the land and also meet unsavoury characters, as tourists do.
This very well researched novel also throws light on the complex institution of marriage in both countries.
A good read.
Somnath Patil, author and senior journalist, former Assistant Editor of Sakal, Maharashtra.

Cambridge News

Book Inspector

Family Tree Magazine

An excellent escapist debut novel. It has pace and intrigue all the way through. The two worlds that are depicted, winter at university in Soviet Russia and January in modern India, come alive with the little everyday details of culture and habit that the inhabitants take for granted. I cared about the characters and when something bad happened it made me jump. Satisfying ending. There were clues in the text and I still didn't guess what would happen. Hope this is the first of many books from this author.

by Jane Edwards


Dr. Prakash Singh died tragically after falling from a ladder and was the father of Dee and the husband of Eva. At the memorial service, Dee expresses a wish to go to India. Surprisingly, Eva would like to go too. Although the two women have very different reasons for going – Eva wants to track down an old flame, Chandra, and Dee wants to find some long lost Singh relatives. She feels cut off from her father’s side of the family and wants to meet them. The problem is that Singh is a very common name in India – where does one start looking?

This book goes back and forth between 1976-1977 and 2014. 1976 is when Eva first met Chandra at a Russian language school in Moscow, USSR. There were several students there learning not only Russian, but all languages.

When they get there to India, Dee wants to experience the “real” India. It becomes somewhat of a joke between the two women. They see crowds, are intimidated by the hectic traffic, experience fabulous hotels, beach huts, and awful slums. They see the real India.

The reason that Eva’s lukewarm on Dee’s Singh search comes as a shock – although perhaps it shouldn’t have.

This book is marvelously written and is an interesting travelogue on India. I have had little experience of India and have never been there so this book was a refreshing view of the people and the culture.

I want to thank Netgalley and Matador for forwarding to me a copy of this nice book to read.

by Joyce Fox (NetGalley reviewer)


I loved this gentle well written book. It meanders it's way through colorful of India - whilst weaving a love story that transpired almost a generation earlier. Oh and the little twist towards the end is the cherry on top! If you love travel novels with a little romance thrown in the mix, this one is recommended - enjoy!

by Diane Whittaker


Secrets, affairs, revelations, shocks, international marriages, reunions . . . everything it takes for a box office hit in Hindi cinema is here in this suspenseful novel.
The residue of colonial hangover has now become part of British-Indian relations at all levels, from diplomatic to interpersonal. English journalist M-J Carreyette's story centres on Eva Singh, a mother figure such as you find in Virginia Woolf novels.
Eva's husband Prakash Singh dies suddenly, and the death of this loving husband, doting father and very dear grandfather sends Eva and her daughter on a journey to uncover his roots in India.
In flashback, the author takes readers to Soviet Moscow before returning to India for the thrilling hunt for the Singh clan. They enjoy the rich culture of the land and also meet unsavoury characters, as tourists do.
This very well researched novel also throws light on the complex institution of marriage in both countries.
A good read.

by Somnath Patil, author and senior journalist, former Assistant Editor of Sakal, Maharashtra.


This book blew me away – an emotional and captivating portrait into the life of a family whose happiness is shattered by a tragic family event that ultimately leads to a journey of self discovery. A Present from India is a joy for the senses and is a colourful and exciting read with vivid characters colours and landscapes. The book takes us from 1970s Russia to India in 2014 by way of England and is a book that will capture the hearts of anyone who loves a great family drama with some romance and travel mixed in. It is like a journey in itself. Thank you so much to the publisher and author via NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book. The book's plot will stay with me for a very long time. Amazing! Would give it more than 5 stars if I could!

by Katherine Hayward


I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my ARC copy for a fair and honest review.

This gem of a novel is the story of lost love, tragedy and self-discovery all through the eyes of Mother and daughter Eva and Dee Singh. After the loss of Eva's husband and Dee's beloved father Prakash Singh in a tragic accident the two women embark on journey across India. Dee to find her father's long lost family and Eva to fulfill one of her husband's wishes.

The scenery, throughout the novel, across current-day India Moscow in the late 1970's, is beautifully described, allowing for one to be transported to those places and not only see but feel them.

The women do seem to have a, generally speaking, good trip with a few interesting twists in the plot that I had not expected. I was too wrapped up in the scenery to catch on! I also really enjoyed the cast of characters throughout the novel and found them all well developed.

It was a long novel, but I was engrossed in the story and had a difficult time putting it down, making the time fly by. Beautiful novel and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

by Laurie Allen


This book is marvellously evocative, both of personal grief and of India. I really enjoyed the character development and found the descriptions of India vivid and tantalising. I would definitely recommend this title.

by Shirley O'Regan (NetGalley)


 

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