One style of novels I truly appreciate finding are the Epistolary variety, as they knit out such a heap of connection between characters – either across time and generation or intermediary within one timescape. They can take-on a variety of expressions of thought – letters, correspondences or journalled artifacts either known or found after a loved one’s passing; therein, pulling you inside the novel’s heart straight-off because you want to know more about why one of the characters has left behind such a personal part of themselves in such an extraordinary way of communicating what they intend for someone to understand.
I have appreciated Indian story-telling for several years now, as it began with a pursuit of seeking out movies from Bollywood and has extended inside literature as I purposefully seek out stories set in India and/or are a cross-over of both contemporary or historical settings in India or anchoured to India through the character’s family. India has such a beautiful historical tapestry through their cultural heritage but also, on a personal note, I fancy their spices and palette of foods! I’m quite a Foodie in general, but when it comes to cuisine from India, if it’s vegetarian-based I’m the girl who cannot satisfy her thirst for trying new combinations of what you can expect to find available. If I can one day start to master cooking Indian foods, I will perpetually be full of smiles!
Contemporary literature about India fascinates me because I like reading cross-over stories from the ancestral past and/or the historical past (depending on the focus of the story) – they give you a brilliant bridge of where a writer can take you visually and internally inside their character’s journey. I love this dimension of space a character can embark on inside a bridge such as this, as your rooted to their present life whilst being involved with the threading of choice which takes you backwards inside a portion of their life or of a loved ones’ life you’ve yet to encounter. It’s emotionally centreing, in other words, and this is one reason when I read the premise of this novel, I felt immediately connected to Jaya! I wanted to know more about her and read through her eyes how this novel unravells itself around the life of her mother’s hidden from her view!
You will be delighted to find I rooted out questions pertaining to the story and a precursory glimpse into a story I look forward to reading one day!
To gain a bit of a back-story on how I came to host Bookouture authors,
please visit my first conversation I featured with this publisher with Teresa Driscoll!
What if you discovered that everything you knew about yourself was a lie?
When pregnant Jaya loses her mother, then her baby son Arun in a tragic cot death, her world crashes down. Overcome by grief and guilt, she begins to search for answers – to the enigma of her lonely, distant mother, and her mysterious past in India.
Looking through her mother’s belongings, she finds two diaries and old photographs, carrying the smoky aroma of fire. A young boy smiles out at Jaya from every photograph – and in one, a family stand proudly in front of a sprawling mansion. Who is this child? And why did her mother treasure this memento of a regal family lost to the past?
As Jaya starts to read the diaries, their secrets lead her back to India, to the ruin of a once grand house on a hill. There, Kali, a mad old lady, will unlock the story of a devastating lie and a fire that tore a family apart.
Nothing though will prepare Jaya for the house’s final revelation, which will change everything Jaya knew about herself.
How did you find inspiration to write a story out of the ashes of personal loss to become the anchor your lead character needed to re-connect to her past? How did one event precipitate the other to happen?
D’ Silva responds: The idea for A Mother’s Secret came in the form of a mad old lady living in a dilapidated house, set isolated and forbidding atop a hill and carrying traces of past grandeur. Why was the woman there? What had happened to her and the house to make them that way, both ravaged and decrepit? Then I pictured a young woman thousands of miles away, who, while dealing with grief and personal loss finds her mother’s diaries and in doing so, is led to this madwoman haunting a tumbledown house in a country her mother shunned. It intrigued me – I wanted to work out the connection. And thus, A Mother’s Secret was born. Read More