Before the Rains by Dinah Jeffries
1930, Rajputana, India. Since her husband's death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza's only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she's determined to make a name for herself.
But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince's handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families - and society - think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what's expected, or following their hearts. . .
I always enjoy Dinah Jefferie's books. The sights and sounds of India are brought into your front room through her words.
Eliza had witnessed the death of father when she was living in India as a child. He was killed during a protest when a bomb was thrown into a procession he was part of. Eliza and her mother returned to England but now as an adult and after the death of her husband she is offered the chance to return to India to work as a photographer taking photos of the Indian royal family.
No one seems to really want her there as she is working for the British government and they feel she could also be spying on them.
Eliza has no thoughts of falling in love as she likes being on her own with no one telling her what to do.
A forbidden love in a foreign country is not the best way to ingratiate herself with her hosts but Eliza can't help how she feels.
As always there is much more to this story than just a love affair. We see the poverty of the people and the unfairness of the British ruling a country which is not their own.
I enjoyed the book but I must admit that I did find the conclusion a bit Hollywood movie drama and doubt that it could ever happen in real life but I'm willing to be proved wrong.
Looking forward to Dinah's next book.