Tuesday, July 26, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: Heat and Dust

Happy Tuesday! I hope that you are staying cool in this hot weather. I'm participating in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, where bloggers share a bit about what they're reading or planning to read. 

I mentioned Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala in my post from yesterday. The novel is a quick read at 180 pages. The writing is wonderful as is the story.

From the back cover:

"Set in India, Heat and Dust is the story of Olivia, a beautiful, spoiled, bored English colonial wife in the 1920s who is drawn inexorably into the spell of the Nawab, a minor Indian prince deeply involved in plots and intrigues. Olivia outrages the tiny, suffocating town where her husband is a civil servant by eloping with the captivating Nawab.

It is also the story of Olivia's step-granddaughter who, fifty years later, is drawn to India by her fascination with the letters left behind by the now dead older woman, and by her obsession with solving the enigma of Olivia's scandal.

A penetrating and compassionate love story, this brilliant novel immerses the reader in the heat, dust, and squalor of India, while providing a compelling mixture of the spiritual and the sensual."

The opening paragraph:

"Shortly after Olivia went away with the Nawab, Beth Crawford returned from Simla. This was in September, 1923. Beth had to go down to Bombay to meet the boat on which her sister Tessie was arriving. Tessie was coming out to spend the cold season with the Crawfords. They had arranged all sorts of visits and expeditions for her, but she stayed mostly in Satipur because of Douglas. They went riding together and played croquet and tennis and she did her best to be good company for him. Not that he had much free time, for he kept himself as busy as ever in the district. He worked like a Trojan and never ceased to be calm and controlled, so that he was very much esteemed both by his colleagues and by the Indians. He was upright and just. Tessie stayed through that cold season, and through the next one as well, and then she sailed home. A year later Douglas had his home leave and they met again in England. By the time his divorce came through, they were ready to get married. She went out to join him in India and, like her sister Beth, she led a full and happy life there. In course of time she became my grandmother--but of course by then everyone was back in England."

What do you  think? Would you keep reading?


  1. I like this opening. I would keep reading. Enjoy!

  2. This is one of those books that I've wanted to read forever. Hope you are enjoying it Monica.

  3. You always manage to introduce me to books I haven't heard of before. This sounds like an interesting look into British colonial history.

  4. Yes, I'd keep reading - thank you so much for sharing as I haven't come across this book before.

  5. I like the opening paragraph, I'd keep reading.

  6. I hope you are staying cool as well! I'm hoping it won't be too bad tomorrow since I have to be out in the sun. Heat and Dust sounds really interesting.