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In the first of the romantic novel, Put Asunder, placed in the period of The Peninsular War 1807–1814, author, Lynn Bishop, takes the reader on a journey where, her protagonists, Major Michael Glendon Rheese, known simply as Major Rheese, and Eva Brianna Sheridan Valdez, known as Eva, after a very brief wedding in the middle of the night, in Spain, are thrown apart for the next six years and must now find each other in Brigford Manor, south-east of Leeds, England. The extraordinary marriage, in the middle of the night and their subsequent journey in the very same night, towards, the land of their destination – England, fleeing away to safety from the imminent invasion by the French on Spain, the very next day, prevented either of them to see each other’s face at all, thus leaving their wedding ring, with an inscription “D”, carved on it, as the only common object of identification.
Eva, brought up in Spain by her aristocratic grandmamma, Doña María, is hurriedly married off to Major Rheese, in exchange of the affluent grand old lady’s hospitality towards Major Rheese’s three wounded comrades, who will find shelter at her home, till they are able to move on soon.
Major Rheese is captured that very night by the French, leaving Eva to find her own. After six years in a Convent, she heads to England to search for her husband. Having come to know, that he lives in Brigford Manor, Leeds, she starts her journey towards that destination, when the letters written to him in that address go unanswered. But on the way, she meets Mr Denborough and finds herself drawn to him, despite her loyalty to her husband, Major Rheese. Mr Denborough too, it seems is headed to Leeds and they form a good companionship, albeit, for Eva, it is a struggle to keep her sense and sensibility in place, in the face of a gentleman as kind and reassuring as Mr Denborough. Left with the last two pounds, she is forced to take Mr Denborough’s generosity, which of course she will return, as soon as she can. Travelling out with him on horseback in the last leg, soon they arrive at Brigford Manor, Leads and each goes their way, only to be flung together at the Brigford Manor again.
At this point, the novel takes a twist and leaves the reader in a shock. So what is Eva going to do in the face of her husband, Major Rheese, for whom she has travelled all the way to meet? How is she going to reconcile this blasphemous romantic engagement with Mr Denborough, whom she has begun to love, despite her loyalty to her husband? And most important, who is Mr Denborough and how is he related to Major Rheese? Finally, the romance takes on its natural end - from the wedding that happened six years ago, it is consummated six years after. But to find out with whom, one needs to read the entire novel, minutely.
A clean novel, Put Asunder brings forth, yet again, the genius of Madhulika Liddle, whose nom de plume Lynn Bishop for the romance novels, the Part I of which is the present novel, shines through as not only a brilliant period author, but a great story teller, now famous globally for her Muzaffar Jang detective novels placed in the Mughal period in India. A master craftswoman in the fine art of keeping her reader glued to her novel, I hope, the first of the novel on war wives, being in the Kindle eBook format will find a wider readership across the globe. Racy though it be at the beginning, the novel eases out a bit, as Eva finds herself falling in love with Mr Denborough, dear Lord, causing the novel to become a trifle too long, for an eBook. But the language is absolutely delightful to read and really, love and romance, grow slowly over time.
So, dear readers, relax, luxuriate and watch it happen!
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