Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Renita D’Silva’s A Daughter’s Courage. Today, I have an extract from the prologue for you. But first, let’s all take a moment to drool over that gorgeous cover!
Author : Renita D’Silva
Pages : 447
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : May 31, 2017
How much would you sacrifice to save your family?
1929. When a passionate love affair threatens to leave Lucy in disgrace, she chooses a respectable marriage over a life of shame. With her husband, coffee plantation owner James, she travels to her new home in India, leaving her troubled past behind her.
Everything in India is new to Lucy, from the jewel-coloured fabrics to the exotic spices. When her path crosses that of Gowri, a young woman who tends the temple on the plantation’s edge, Lucy is curious to find out more about her, and the events that lead her to live in isolation from her family…
Now. With her career in shatters and her heart broken by the man she thought was her future, Kayva flees from bustling Mumbai to her hometown. A crumbling temple has been discovered in a village nearby, along with letters detailing its tragic history – desperate pleas from a young woman called Gowri.
As Kavya learns of Gowri and Lucy’s painful story, she begins to understand the terrible sacrifices that were made and the decision the two women took that changed their lives forever. Can the secrets of the past help Kavya to rebuild her life?
In a scenic corner of India, beside sparkling fields and across from a jungle, near rain-bejewelled coffee plants lined with areca trees and pepper vines, a small temple nestles, slowly going to ruin. It has seen many generations come and go; it is hiding countless secrets deep within its crumbling walls. Woodlice have burrowed into its pillars and anthills adorn its steps and cling to its small veranda. Cobwebs stretch from one end of the temple bell to the other (once gleaming yellow, now tarnished rust; once heralding devotees and massaged by a thousand pious palms, now caressed by silvery skeins of spidery secretions and frantic with the frenzied patter of trapped insects).
Peepal trees have conspired to form a canopy over the temple, hiding it from the world. Warm air, infused with the zesty tang of ripening pepper and the smokiness of coffee, hangs respectfully still around the temple, loath to disturb the sombre peace.
A falling-down cottage is just visible between the columns of deciduous roots gracing the temple courtyard, which are almost as tall as the overgrown trees to which they belong. The disintegrating, moss-steeped walls of the cottage glow orange-gold in the shafts of sunlight occasionally piercing the vibrant green awning of branches, playing hide-and-seek with the ants that scurry around, searching for crumbs. The wall of tumbledown bricks surrounding the temple and the cottage is almost completely covered with velvet moss.
From certain angles, with its foliage-festooned steps leading up to its open cave of a mouth, lush vegetation parting to afford a tantalising glimpse of the deity within, its small shrine draped with vine and creeper garlands, its offerings of rotting leaves and mulchy bark, the temple looks as if it is smiling; a slumbering child experiencing happy dreams.
Many thanks to Kim at Bookouture for having me on the tour and for providing me with this extract!
A Daughter’s Courage is available now!
Renita grew up in a picturesque coastal village in the South of India, the oldest of three children. Her father got her first story books when she was six and she fell in love with the world of stories. Even now she prefers that world, by far, to this.