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India Gray: Historical Fiction Boxed Set

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Travel to the Indian subcontinent with a new collection of Sujata Massey's suspenseful historical fiction. This boxed set includes four works described below: OUTNUMBERED AT OXFORD. When Perveen Mistry leaves Bombay to study law at St. Hilda's College in 1919 Oxford, England, she hopes to escape her troubled past and become a pioneering woman lawyer. Then an elderly don ta Travel to the Indian subcontinent with a new collection of Sujata Massey's suspenseful historical fiction. This boxed set includes four works described below: OUTNUMBERED AT OXFORD. When Perveen Mistry leaves Bombay to study law at St. Hilda's College in 1919 Oxford, England, she hopes to escape her troubled past and become a pioneering woman lawyer. Then an elderly don tasks her with locating an Indian servant who may have stolen an invaluable mathematics proof. Perveen is caught in a case that threatens her ladylike reputation--and her life. THE AYAH'S TALE. Menakshi Dutt, a teenaged nanny in 1920s Bengal, is a beloved caregiver of three lonely British children, but suffers from the cruelty of their bored mother. Will Menakshi ever fulfill her own dreams without betraying the children? INDIA GRAY. Kamala Lewes, a recently-married Bengali woman, travels to Assam during World War II to volunteer at a military hospital. There she discovers some patients with ties to the Indian independence movement. How far can she go to help them without betraying her British husband and the Allies? BITTER TEA. Shazia is fifteen and trapped in a remote village in Pakistan overtaken by religious fundamentalists. Her school has been closed, and women have lost freedom of movement. But when Shania learns a friend faces danger from the invaders, she decides to act. Four unforgettable heroines in one book rich with history, culture and intrigue. Recent Reviews: "Clever Kamala is at front and center throughout, as Massey builds her coming of age tale around India as it moves toward independence, effectively combining personal narrative with the grandeur of a sweeping historical epic...The Sleeping Dictionary, an utterly engrossing tale of love, espionage, betrayal and survival, is historical fiction at its best, accessible to all audiences. Recommend to readers of Arundati Roy and Bharati Mukherjee".--BOOKLIST on THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY (starred review) "Evocative descriptions of the late Raj period's Indian cultures, customs, cuisine, flora and fauna are narrated delightfully. Although this is essentially a story of love and human endurance, Massey, an award-winning author, has admirably woven the events of the Indian independence movement into the plot...this is an informative and entertaining historical novel."--HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY on THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY "Sujata Massey beautifully depicts the life of an Indian ayah and the complicated relationships that people in the employ of their colonial masters had to deal with. Even though Menakshi endures great hardships in her life, she feels love in these pages and the prospect of a more hopeful future..."---MARIE'S BOOK GARDEN on THE AYAH'S TALE "Massey deftly plays with several strong threads, each of which gives a certain heft to the story. She explores the relationship between parents and children, Indians and British, upper and lower classes, hope and hopelessness, India and abroad, stories and reality. Read it to find out what speaks to you most."--SOUTH OF THE BORDER, WEST OF THE SUN on THE AYAH'S TALE This boxed set is approximately 67,000 words long. It will also release as a single trade paperback in December, 2015.


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Travel to the Indian subcontinent with a new collection of Sujata Massey's suspenseful historical fiction. This boxed set includes four works described below: OUTNUMBERED AT OXFORD. When Perveen Mistry leaves Bombay to study law at St. Hilda's College in 1919 Oxford, England, she hopes to escape her troubled past and become a pioneering woman lawyer. Then an elderly don ta Travel to the Indian subcontinent with a new collection of Sujata Massey's suspenseful historical fiction. This boxed set includes four works described below: OUTNUMBERED AT OXFORD. When Perveen Mistry leaves Bombay to study law at St. Hilda's College in 1919 Oxford, England, she hopes to escape her troubled past and become a pioneering woman lawyer. Then an elderly don tasks her with locating an Indian servant who may have stolen an invaluable mathematics proof. Perveen is caught in a case that threatens her ladylike reputation--and her life. THE AYAH'S TALE. Menakshi Dutt, a teenaged nanny in 1920s Bengal, is a beloved caregiver of three lonely British children, but suffers from the cruelty of their bored mother. Will Menakshi ever fulfill her own dreams without betraying the children? INDIA GRAY. Kamala Lewes, a recently-married Bengali woman, travels to Assam during World War II to volunteer at a military hospital. There she discovers some patients with ties to the Indian independence movement. How far can she go to help them without betraying her British husband and the Allies? BITTER TEA. Shazia is fifteen and trapped in a remote village in Pakistan overtaken by religious fundamentalists. Her school has been closed, and women have lost freedom of movement. But when Shania learns a friend faces danger from the invaders, she decides to act. Four unforgettable heroines in one book rich with history, culture and intrigue. Recent Reviews: "Clever Kamala is at front and center throughout, as Massey builds her coming of age tale around India as it moves toward independence, effectively combining personal narrative with the grandeur of a sweeping historical epic...The Sleeping Dictionary, an utterly engrossing tale of love, espionage, betrayal and survival, is historical fiction at its best, accessible to all audiences. Recommend to readers of Arundati Roy and Bharati Mukherjee".--BOOKLIST on THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY (starred review) "Evocative descriptions of the late Raj period's Indian cultures, customs, cuisine, flora and fauna are narrated delightfully. Although this is essentially a story of love and human endurance, Massey, an award-winning author, has admirably woven the events of the Indian independence movement into the plot...this is an informative and entertaining historical novel."--HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY on THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY "Sujata Massey beautifully depicts the life of an Indian ayah and the complicated relationships that people in the employ of their colonial masters had to deal with. Even though Menakshi endures great hardships in her life, she feels love in these pages and the prospect of a more hopeful future..."---MARIE'S BOOK GARDEN on THE AYAH'S TALE "Massey deftly plays with several strong threads, each of which gives a certain heft to the story. She explores the relationship between parents and children, Indians and British, upper and lower classes, hope and hopelessness, India and abroad, stories and reality. Read it to find out what speaks to you most."--SOUTH OF THE BORDER, WEST OF THE SUN on THE AYAH'S TALE This boxed set is approximately 67,000 words long. It will also release as a single trade paperback in December, 2015.

30 review for India Gray: Historical Fiction Boxed Set

  1. 5 out of 5

    Annet

    'Four unforgettable young women come alive in this novella story collection from a master storyteller.' Could not have said it better. Wonderful book with four great stories, and a writer I have come to admire over the last two years. Thoroughly interesting and entertaining. I would definitely recommend this writer and this book to my goodreads friends! Here's the four stories in quick outline: Preveen Mistry is in Oxford university to study law and escape her hidden past. I read the books featuri 'Four unforgettable young women come alive in this novella story collection from a master storyteller.' Could not have said it better. Wonderful book with four great stories, and a writer I have come to admire over the last two years. Thoroughly interesting and entertaining. I would definitely recommend this writer and this book to my goodreads friends! Here's the four stories in quick outline: Preveen Mistry is in Oxford university to study law and escape her hidden past. I read the books featuring Preveen already, so great to see her again in a short story! In Oxford Preveen is asked to find a disappeared Indian servant working at Oxford university. Menashi, a young girl, has to leave school to become an ayah for a wealthy British family. Again, great story. Kamala, a Bengali woman in her twenties, travels to Assam, India during WW II to volunteer at a military hospital. Her loyalty to her husband is put to the test. Interesting story. Shazia is a 15-year old girl living in a village overtaken by fundamentalists in early 21st century. Gives a view of suppressed women who are fighting for their rights. Shocking, interesting. Definitely, great read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carolien

    This is a gem of a book. Each short story addresses a different historical time period and provides an insight from an unusual angle on the events. The first story deals with the sense of alienation felt by a first generation of Indian students in the British university scene early in the 1900s. It also provides additional context in that it is written from a female perspective of the time. I loved The Aya's Tale which provides information on the ambiguity experienced by Anglo-Indians in India. I This is a gem of a book. Each short story addresses a different historical time period and provides an insight from an unusual angle on the events. The first story deals with the sense of alienation felt by a first generation of Indian students in the British university scene early in the 1900s. It also provides additional context in that it is written from a female perspective of the time. I loved The Aya's Tale which provides information on the ambiguity experienced by Anglo-Indians in India. I can relate to that in the South African context where persons of mixed race often have a similar experience. India's role in WWII is not often described and it is very interesting to read about it against the background of the nationalistic spirit and wish for independence that prevailed at the time in the third story. I found each story to be well-developed with interesting characters. In an era where novellas are often produced purely to entice the reader to buy additional books in a series, it is wonderful to find a complete book of short stories that can be enjoyed in their own right. This was my first book by the author and I am most definitely planning on reading more of her books. I originally encountered her on the Murder as Everywhere blog and have always found her articles to be worth exploring on the blog http://murderiseverywhere.blogspot.co...

  3. 4 out of 5

    KOMET

    "INDIA GRAY" is a collection of 4 stories of varying lengths ('Outnumbered at Oxford', 'The Ayah's Tale', 'India Gray', and 'Bitter Tea'), all of which are set in venues as diverse as 1919 Britain and the Asian subcontinent from the time of the British Raj to the early 21st Century. Sujata Massey is the type of writer who has a rare skill in creating characters who are real and easily relatable to the reader, and in also educating the reader about the cultural nuances, history and relationships "INDIA GRAY" is a collection of 4 stories of varying lengths ('Outnumbered at Oxford', 'The Ayah's Tale', 'India Gray', and 'Bitter Tea'), all of which are set in venues as diverse as 1919 Britain and the Asian subcontinent from the time of the British Raj to the early 21st Century. Sujata Massey is the type of writer who has a rare skill in creating characters who are real and easily relatable to the reader, and in also educating the reader about the cultural nuances, history and relationships among people through economical, insightful prose. What is more: each story is centered around 4 remarkable women (Parveen Mistry, a law student at St. Hilda's College, Oxford; Menakshi Dutt, a young Bengali woman working as an ayah for a wealthy British family in 1920s Bengal; Kamala Lewes, a Bengali polyglot, married to a British civil official, and working for the Red Cross in a military hospital in Assam, India during the spring of 1945; and Shazia, a teenaged Pakistani living with her family in a village in NW Pakistan controlled by a Muslim fundamentalist), who --- despite the social and cultural restrictions of their time --- show remarkable resourcefulness and strength of character in dealing with a variety of challenging situations. I so much enjoyed reading "India Gray" and felt pained after reading the last page. More please.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This novella-story collection contains four stories with memorable female protagonists who triumph despite the societal hurdles each of them face. I previously read and reviewed the second novella included in this collection (THE AYAH'S TALE), which was an excellent historical fiction tale set in 1920s Bengal, and was eager to read the other offerings. Each of the four tales are strong in their own right, but, together they make for an exceptional collection that will stick with you long after y This novella-story collection contains four stories with memorable female protagonists who triumph despite the societal hurdles each of them face. I previously read and reviewed the second novella included in this collection (THE AYAH'S TALE), which was an excellent historical fiction tale set in 1920s Bengal, and was eager to read the other offerings. Each of the four tales are strong in their own right, but, together they make for an exceptional collection that will stick with you long after you finish reading it. This collection would appeal to fans of historical fiction and mysteries alike, as well as readers who like strong, smart female leads. The stories explore many themes and relationship dynamics that will surely strike a cord with modern readers and cause them to think. The first (OUTNUMBERED IN OXFORD) introduces Perveen Mistry and her best friend Alice who are enrolled at St. Hilda's College in Oxford between WWI and WWII. The historical mystery begins with the disappearance of an Indian servant who may have stolen an important mathematical proof. When Perveen is asked to investigate her fellow countryman's disappearance, she enlists Alice's help and the two use all of their wits and ingenuity to uncover the truth. I loved both characters and the historical aspects of the story, and found the mystery satisfying. According to the Author's Note at the end, a full-length novel set in 1920's India featuring Perveen and Alice is planned for 2017 and I, for one, cannot wait to read more of their adventures! The third (INDIA GRAY) will undoubtedly be a hit with fans of The Sleeping Dictionary, as the story centers around Kamala Lewes and her British husband who have traveled to Assam, India during WWII to volunteer at a military hospital. Some of the patients at the hospital are veterans of the Indian National Army, which seeks to free India from Britain. The reader wonders how far Kamala will go to help the patients and whether she will remain loyal to her husband. While you can read and enjoy this story as a stand-alone, you should definitely read more about Kamala in THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY if you haven't had the pleasure of discovering that book yet. The final offering (BITTER TEA) is a contemporary tale set in early 21st-century Pakistan. The heroine of this story is a 15-year-old girl named Shazia whose village has been overrun by fundamentalists who have imposed strict rules on the female residents in particular. When Shazia learns that one of the secluded girls has been threatened by the head cleric, she attempts a rescue plan that will either save her friend or result in her own execution.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ming

    This was a gift to myself. And if I do say so myself, it was a very good gift! Perveen Mistry is smart, no-nonsense character. And it was not enough to read about her in #1 and #2 of the series. This set adds to the pleasure and was so enjoyable. These stories provide more background to the full books. And they are just are satisfying in terms of story and a crime to be solved. (And I'd like to re-read these soon.) Massey succeeds at this period...the 1920's in the UK and the British Raj. She mak This was a gift to myself. And if I do say so myself, it was a very good gift! Perveen Mistry is smart, no-nonsense character. And it was not enough to read about her in #1 and #2 of the series. This set adds to the pleasure and was so enjoyable. These stories provide more background to the full books. And they are just are satisfying in terms of story and a crime to be solved. (And I'd like to re-read these soon.) Massey succeeds at this period...the 1920's in the UK and the British Raj. She makes Mistry strong at any time period and conjures up a mystery that is smart and engaging. I'm looking forward to more of this series. And with gifts like these, I'm going to be very generous!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I have been a fan of Sujata Massey's Rei Shimura Japanese-American series for many years and always await her next adventure. However, Ms Massey's recent change of scene, so to speak, with her India-inspired tales has likewise fascinated and entertained me. Called a novella/story collection this book relates four different stories of young women spanning the years from 1919 to the modern day. Three of the women are East Indian and the last a Pakistani school girl. Each novella has strongly devel I have been a fan of Sujata Massey's Rei Shimura Japanese-American series for many years and always await her next adventure. However, Ms Massey's recent change of scene, so to speak, with her India-inspired tales has likewise fascinated and entertained me. Called a novella/story collection this book relates four different stories of young women spanning the years from 1919 to the modern day. Three of the women are East Indian and the last a Pakistani school girl. Each novella has strongly developed characters, interesting cultural history and just plain good story-telling. The "More About This Book" section offers further reading suggestions, author comments and the happy news that the characters from the 1919 story will reappear in a book to be released in 2017. If you haven't done so yet, do give any of Ms Massey's books a try--there is much to enjoy!

  7. 4 out of 5

    EscapistBookReviews

    Summary: This is a collection of four short works of historical fiction featuring South Asian women. The stories are all quite different from one another in subject matter and tone, and all are very well-written, with what seems like good historical detail. The stories are: “Outnumbered at Oxford”: a 1920s mystery story in which an Indian law student investigates the disappearance of an Indian man who was servant at Oxford “The Ayah’s Tale”: a fictional memoir in which a woman looks b Summary: This is a collection of four short works of historical fiction featuring South Asian women. The stories are all quite different from one another in subject matter and tone, and all are very well-written, with what seems like good historical detail. The stories are: “Outnumbered at Oxford”: a 1920s mystery story in which an Indian law student investigates the disappearance of an Indian man who was servant at Oxford “The Ayah’s Tale”: a fictional memoir in which a woman looks back from the 1950s on her service as a nanny to the family of a British colonial governor during the 1920s “India Gray”: a slice-of-life story in which an Indian nurse, married to a British intelligence officer, cares for wounded prisoners of war in Assam during World War II “Bitter Tea”: a light suspense story in which young women plot against the corrupt Taliban-ish leader of their isolated village in Pakistan, circa the early 2000s Thoughts: Most of the stories in this collection are not in my usual genres, and “The Ayah’s Tale” in particular forced me to face up to my own genre expectations. I kept expecting something dramatic to happen, but the most unusual thing that happened was the main character giving her mother a blood transfusion (a cutting-edge medical procedure in the time and place of the story). It’s actually a really good story about life under British colonialism, and the ways in which the machinery of imperialism spares neither the colonized, nor the colonizers. Just, my stupid brain kept expecting a murder or something like that. I picked this book up because of an Amazon recommendation for a different, more expensive, book by the same author. Although it sounded like something I might like, I am justifiably leery of algorithmic recs for authors I’ve never heard of, so I got the short story collection instead of the full-length mystery novel. I was pleasantly surprised, and will be reading one of Massey’s novels next. Escapist Rating: 4/4 Recommended for: Fans of culturally diverse historical fiction, people who like stories in which different cultures interact Dis-Recommended for: People looking for action-packed adventure

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alisha Pulsipher

    3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book and enjoyed spending some time with Perveen and Alice (from Widows of Malabar Hill), but I found these stories lacked some of the finesse that her full length novels have. Still, an enjoyable read. My favorite story in it was the Ayah's Tale. It was character driven (not so much plot driven); I was rooting for her whole-heartedly be the end.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    INDIA GRAY by Sujata Massey This collection consists of two novellas and two short stories. Both novellas, Outnumbered at Oxford and The Ayah’s Tale are peopled by well formed characters and have detailed and nuanced plots with introduction, plot development and conclusion. Outnumbered at Oxford introduces characters found in the full length novel, THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL. The two short stories are quite brief and include only one incident with little characterization. India Gray is the much m INDIA GRAY by Sujata Massey This collection consists of two novellas and two short stories. Both novellas, Outnumbered at Oxford and The Ayah’s Tale are peopled by well formed characters and have detailed and nuanced plots with introduction, plot development and conclusion. Outnumbered at Oxford introduces characters found in the full length novel, THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL. The two short stories are quite brief and include only one incident with little characterization. India Gray is the much more satisfying story for both character and plot. Bitter Tea simply leaves one wanting more. Outnumbered at Oxford gives the reader of MALABAR HILL the back story of what transpired during Perveen’s banishment to England and introduces Alice, Perveen’s good friend, who has a role in MALABAR HILL. Both women find themselves bending the strict rules at St. Hilda’s College to solve the disappearance of a mathematical paper and a young man. The Ayah’s Tale is a treatise on social class, including the vast social differences between Indians (in their own country) and English colonists during a time of growing desire for Indian independence. It leaves the reader wanting another tale to fill in the gap between the story and the epilogue. The writing and research involved for all four tales is detailed and gives depth and interest to each story. A good introduction to an excellent writer. 5 of 5 stars

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chi Dubinski

    Two novellas and two short stories, all set in India, span a time frame from 1919 to the early 21st century. My favorite was the novella “The Ayah’s Tale,” in which a teenaged Bengali girl leaves school to become a domestic in a wealthy British family household in 1920s Bengal. She is cheated out of her wages and time off by the unfeeling mother of the family, who spends her time socializing and carrying on an affair. Menakshi is in charge of the three older children, two boys and a girl. She en Two novellas and two short stories, all set in India, span a time frame from 1919 to the early 21st century. My favorite was the novella “The Ayah’s Tale,” in which a teenaged Bengali girl leaves school to become a domestic in a wealthy British family household in 1920s Bengal. She is cheated out of her wages and time off by the unfeeling mother of the family, who spends her time socializing and carrying on an affair. Menakshi is in charge of the three older children, two boys and a girl. She entertains them by making up stories for them, and the middle child becomes fond of her. They are oblivious to the fact that she has a life outside of their family. “Outnumbered at Oxford” is the second novella, which takes place at Oxford in 1919. Two young woman, one an Indian and one British, solve a mystery when they set out to find a missing Indian servant who is accused of stealing some valuable mathematical papers. “India Gray” is a short story set during World War II; an Indian woman is volunteering at a military hospital. Will the patients trust her when they learn her husband is British? In “Bitter Tea,” a teenaged girl in 21st century Pakistan attempts a rescue of a friend, who is being threatened by a fundamentalist cleric. Evocative settings and time periods. Massey’s main characters are all exceptional women, strong in different ways.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    I picked this up on Kindle Deals because it contains a mystery novella which serves as a prequel to The Widows of Malabar Hill which I read last year and enjoyed. That was a fun read. Another novella included in the collection was The Ayah’s Tale, a touching story about the relationship between an English boy and his Indian ayah (nanny). The author used a clever invention to tell the story using both voices. I would rate that novella on its own a 4 star read. The other short stories were less in I picked this up on Kindle Deals because it contains a mystery novella which serves as a prequel to The Widows of Malabar Hill which I read last year and enjoyed. That was a fun read. Another novella included in the collection was The Ayah’s Tale, a touching story about the relationship between an English boy and his Indian ayah (nanny). The author used a clever invention to tell the story using both voices. I would rate that novella on its own a 4 star read. The other short stories were less intriguing to me, one about India just after WWII and the other set in Pakistan in a village taken over by the Taliban. The stories themselves were interesting, but I am not fond of short stories as I prefer to get to know character and place better in a longer plot line. I will continue to read the mystery series as new ones are published. Her writing is warm and readable for a break from heavy topics.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    During 2019, I'm making a deliberate choice to include more diverse books and authors. India Gray: Historical Fiction Boxed Set is an excellent choice! I love how Massey writes about the experience of diverse Indian women over time from British Colonialism to the modern cleric-ruled Pakistan. Each of the main characters portrays a different strength, but they all remain true to their cultural moral base. I appreciated the way that Massey has stayed away from stereotyping all Indian women--her wo During 2019, I'm making a deliberate choice to include more diverse books and authors. India Gray: Historical Fiction Boxed Set is an excellent choice! I love how Massey writes about the experience of diverse Indian women over time from British Colonialism to the modern cleric-ruled Pakistan. Each of the main characters portrays a different strength, but they all remain true to their cultural moral base. I appreciated the way that Massey has stayed away from stereotyping all Indian women--her women are individuals who do what is brave and right for their time. The British and Anglo-Indians are portrayed honestly as well. Ms. Massey could have skewed her viewpoint, but I think she is fair in her portrayal of their prejudices and their kindnesses.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    This 300 page book contains 2 novelas, one shorter than the other, and 2 very short stories. One of the novelas introduces the characters of Preveen Mistry and her friend Alice as they figure out their first mystery during their years at Oxford before their arrival in Massey's India mystery series. The other novela is life in British India in the 1950s for an Ayah (nanny). The first short story Is 1945 British India at the end of WWII, and the other short story is early 2000s Pakistan. I really This 300 page book contains 2 novelas, one shorter than the other, and 2 very short stories. One of the novelas introduces the characters of Preveen Mistry and her friend Alice as they figure out their first mystery during their years at Oxford before their arrival in Massey's India mystery series. The other novela is life in British India in the 1950s for an Ayah (nanny). The first short story Is 1945 British India at the end of WWII, and the other short story is early 2000s Pakistan. I really like Massey's writing, and even though I did not like this work quite as much as her mystery series, I fully plan to keep on reading her other books.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nikita

    "India Gray" by Sujata Massey is a compilation of four short novels. One of them including Perveen Mistry (whom she goes on to feature in a novel of her own- A MURDER ON MALABAR HILL) . Unfortunately I wasn't very impressed by three of the stories. The one that did stand out to me and warmed my heart was "The Ayah's Tale" which was based on the mutual love between a caretaker and a child, set in British India. Although I wouldnt highly recommend you to buy this book for just one story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    This is a collection of 4 short stories, about Indian women in four different time periods in the 20th Century. I particularly enjoyed “Outnumbered at Oxford” and “The Ayah’s Tale”. “Outnumbered at Oxford “ is a prequel to the Perveen Misty novels. “The Ayah’s Tale” was a very moving story of the emotional attachments that developed between nursemaid and children, along with the complications that ensue because of the colonial strictures.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ann Cooper

    Novellas and short stories by the author of The Widows of Malabar Hill, this was an intriguing, well written set of fictions, based on past and present world issues. From the story about being an Ayah to British colonial kids in the pre independent India, to a tale of women's place in contemporary Pakistan and Afghanistan and a scheme to out an extreme leaser, and back to Pervene Mistry's days of studying law in Oxford in the 1920s, this collection offered a thoroughly good read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Kirkpatrick

    I really enjoyed this book This is the second of this author's books I have read. I wasn't sure about this one. But it surprised me. I read the first story of this book and so enjoyed it. I was already familiar with the two main characters, and I thought that this would be my favorite story. But this author seems to be able to life me into her stories. The first two stories especially, the characters are so believable and richly developed I was drawn into each story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Insightful and fascinating examination of the place of Indian women in history. It lost half a star because of the large number of anachronistic Americanisms (‘different than’ rather than ‘different from’; ‘mean’ meaning ‘nasty’ rather than ‘stingy’; ‘toward’ when an English person would have said ‘towards’, etc) which jarred; and in my view, affected the credibility of the otherwise carefully-drawn English characters.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Barb in Maryland

    I borrowed this for the first story, featuring young law student Perveen Mistry, as she is the lead character in Massey's forthcoming book. A nice intro to this young heroine. I skimmed through the rest of the stories. They were well done, especially The Ayah's Tale. A nice way to sample the author's style and voice.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Ward

    Ms. Massey's short stories are as engaging and informative as her novels, which are set in a specific time period. The stories are filled with accurate historical and cultural descriptions personalized by the characters in the story. The main female characters are young women who use their brains courageously to solve problems, help themselves and others.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Delores Christiansen

    Excellent read I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I don’t always like short stories but each of these were wonderful I highly recommend this for anyone it was wonderfully written and the stories are lovely

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    A thoughtful set of short stories and a novella.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn V.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I enjoyed this book but I have always enjoyed Sujata Massey.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie Demore

    Very good. My favorite story being "The Ayah's Tale"

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sreader

    Fascinating stories set in and around India and Asia.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Savita Ramsumair

    Interesting These historical novels were quite interesting. However, sometimes I was lost. I liked Bitter Tea the most since I'm quite familiar with such stories.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    My favorite story was The Ayah's Tale. They are enjoyable.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    India Gray: Historical Fiction is a collection of four stories and is the first book by Sujata Massey that I have read. I have followed her on the Blog, Murder is Everywhere, as I have a strong interest in mysteries and found her writing style to be very engaging. The four stories in this book all stand on their own and are quite separate in subject matter. The first is a mystery set in Oxford in 1919 with a young woman from Bombay who studies law and her friend Alice, an out of the ordinary ma India Gray: Historical Fiction is a collection of four stories and is the first book by Sujata Massey that I have read. I have followed her on the Blog, Murder is Everywhere, as I have a strong interest in mysteries and found her writing style to be very engaging. The four stories in this book all stand on their own and are quite separate in subject matter. The first is a mystery set in Oxford in 1919 with a young woman from Bombay who studies law and her friend Alice, an out of the ordinary math student. Being women seeking a higher education has its difficulties in this time and place. Trying to circumvent convention to get to the truth is even more challenging. The Ayah’s tale is a look back at a woman in British Raj India in the 1920’s who in the 1950’s finds a published account of her life as a nanny to the children of a powerful British official and his wife. The poverty and prejudice of colonial India are very evident. This story really tugged at my heart strings and made me wish for a longer version. India Gray is set in the latter days of the Second World War where a British government officer is sent with his Bengali wife to Assam, India. The wife, Kamala, takes on a volunteer position at a hospital with a number of injured veterans. Her interaction with these men speaks to the strength and willingness of Kamala to be a real humanitarian under difficult circumstances. I was unaware that not all Indians fought for the British during that conflict. Bitter Tea is a more modern story set in rural Pakistani community in 2001. The courage shown against the Taliban occupiers is a thing to behold. Ms. Massey’s writing style drew me into places and times with which I am not familiar. I became enamored with her south Asian characters and am now driven to read more of her work including her Rei Shimura mysteries set in Japan.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emily Lynne

    I wasn't sure what to expect with this book since I tend to avoid short story collections, however the historical fiction component piqued my curiosity - I am so glad I decided to give it a chance! Sujata manages to captivated the reader in her opening sentences of each story and keep our attention throughout each story. It was amazing to discover the level of depth and detail she infused into each story despite their short length (although I found myself wishing each story would go on for the l I wasn't sure what to expect with this book since I tend to avoid short story collections, however the historical fiction component piqued my curiosity - I am so glad I decided to give it a chance! Sujata manages to captivated the reader in her opening sentences of each story and keep our attention throughout each story. It was amazing to discover the level of depth and detail she infused into each story despite their short length (although I found myself wishing each story would go on for the length of a full novel). Each story deals with a different aspect of Indian history and cultural conflict, giving the reader an intimate experience of the possible emotions and traumas people may have experienced over the past 150 years in India. I would highly recommend this collection of stories to anyone, and look forward to singing its praises over the holiday season! Can't wait to read more from Sujata Massey

  30. 5 out of 5

    Harley

    This is the fifth book that I have read by Sujata Massey. The first four were mystery novels set in Japan and involving Rei Shimura. This book is a collection of short stories and a novella involving characters from India. My favorite story, Outnumbered at Oxford involves the solving of a mystery by an Indian student at Oxford. The novella, The Ayah's Tale slowly grew on me. The story is told in alternating chapters by an ayah (nanny) and the one of the children she cared for. I loved the voice This is the fifth book that I have read by Sujata Massey. The first four were mystery novels set in Japan and involving Rei Shimura. This book is a collection of short stories and a novella involving characters from India. My favorite story, Outnumbered at Oxford involves the solving of a mystery by an Indian student at Oxford. The novella, The Ayah's Tale slowly grew on me. The story is told in alternating chapters by an ayah (nanny) and the one of the children she cared for. I loved the voice of the ayah and wished she had told the whole story. I was less interested in the voice of the male child. The book tackles the subject of prejudice, poverty and British colonialism. The short stories, India Gray and Bitter Tea, lack the depth and insight of the other work. Of the two, I liked India Gray best and I learned that some Indians actually fought on the side of the Japanese rather than their colonial masters.

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