Welcome to my stop on the Mango Bay blog tour! Thank you so much Random Things Tours for letting me participate in this tour! I was provided with a copy of the novel as part of this tour in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Ironberry Books
Publication Date: 26/09/2020
Length: 299 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction | Romance
Jazz clubs, yacht clubs, aunty bars and a Bollywood beauty shadowed by her pet panther.Amazon UK
This is glamorous Bombay in the late 1950s.Love has blossomed in London between vivacious Scottish Presbyterian, Audrey, and clever Indian lawyer, Nat Zachariah.
When the happy newlyweds move to Nat’s exotic homeland and the striking family villa, Audrey must deftly navigate the rituals, secrets, intrigues and desires of his Bene Israel Jewish community, and adjust to perplexing new relatives.
In time, the past unlocks, old family ties unravel, lies are exposed and passions run high as different generations fall out. Then something shocking happens that undoes everything. Will this marriage that has crossed boundaries survive?
I really liked Audrey as the protagonist, I think that was a great choice to focus primarily on her and her reactions as we could learn things along with Audrey. I especially liked how Audrey was both keen to learn about the Bene Israel and Indian cultures, but she also questioned elements of it, especially where the treatment of women was concerned. In fact, the way all of the women interacted was so genuine. Babai was a brilliant addition to the novel as the feisty matriarch who didn’t feel like a stereotypical grandmother. However, as great as the women in the novel are, I also really liked the friendship that Audrey built with Khan Sahib – the head of the family and prominent figure of the BI community.
This novel spans several years as Audrey integrates within her new family. I thought it did a great job of detailing the progression of Audrey and Nat’s relationship with the loving honeymoon period, to a more complicated, married life. Whilst the novel is a historical romance at the heart, the novel doesn’t just dwell on this aspect. Instead, Fairfax beautifully describes India and the culture in such a way it was clear that she had firsthand experience of certain aspects of it. I especially loved her descriptions of the food – definitely do not read this novel on an empty stomach! Although there were times where I felt the novel was a little slow, or repetitive, there were so many different aspects to the plot that meant I couldn’t stop reading it. The final few chapters were definitely the highlight for me where everything comes to a head and we see the different conflicts between families.
Mango Bay is a lovely, read that will transport you to an entirely different time in a vibrant country which will warm you up as we continue to move into winter. It’s certainly a novel that you can get cosy to on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
About the Author
Serena spent her childhood in India, qualified as a Lawyer in England, and worked in a London law firm. Some of her novels have a strong romantic arc although she burst the romance bubble with one quirky departure. Other novels pull the reader into the dark corners of family life and relationships.
She enjoys the challenge of experimenting and writing in different genres. Her short stories and a medley of articles, including her reviews of thrillers and crime fiction, feature on her blog. Fast forward to a sabbatical from the day job when Serena traded in bricks and mortar for a houseboat that, for a hardened land lubber like her, turned out to be a big adventure. A few of her favourite things are collecting old masks, singing and exploring off the beaten track.
Serena and her golden retriever, Inspector Morse, who can’t wait to unleash his own Facebook page, live in London.