Jenny Ashcroft's Island in the East is that rare thing: a dual narrative novel in which both strands of the story are as engaging and compelling as each other. The Singapore of the two different eras is a character in itself, and so deftly drawn that the heat and humidity seem to rise from every page. As the twin threats of invasion and social exclusion close in on Harriet, Mae and Ivy, it becomes impossible to put this book down.
Completely entrancing - the humidity and social tensions of a bygone Singapore rise from every page. Perfect escapism, beautifully written
There's so much packed into this novel, from the sensuous evocation of Egypt, to the gripping mystery at its heart, and through it all a beautiful love story - what a love story! I loved Olivia and her gorgeous feistiness, and Edward is possibly the most charming romantic hero I've come across in fiction. Whether or not historical fiction is your thing, this story of twists and turns transcends era and genre. Absolutely brilliant.
Jenny Ashcroft is a true talent, a writer who sweeps you away to distant shores and into the minds of vivid characters with her beautiful writing. Beneath a Burning Sky had me gripped from start to finish, I just couldn't put it down. Olivia and Clara were such wonderfully-drawn characters, and the romance between Olivia and Edward heart-stopping! This book is a must for fans of first-class writing, brilliant characters, fascinating locations and gripping plots
This lushly detailed debut is a summer-must read
Well written, beautifully described and terribly exciting. I loved this page-turning adventure with a moving love story at its heart
Brilliant; everything romantic historical fiction should be, heartfelt and heart-breaking, utterly compulsive and completely immersive . . . will stay with readers for a very long time and deservedly so. I haven't read a historical novel this good in a long time.
A disturbing and utterly fascinating tale in the vivid setting of Singapore, where emotions are raw and characters are pushed to the edge. I was swept away by the deeply moving love story and by the dark twisting shivering secrets behind it. The stifling sense of threat and heat gripped me and didn't let go. Beautifully written and impressively researched, Island in the East is a stunner. Emotional, evocative and enthralling.
Beneath a Burning Sky is a triumph. It carries you away to a different time and place completely. Evocative, emotional, and thoroughly absorbing
An evocative, absorbing story about a fascinating period of history. The dual narrative is perfectly balanced, making it a rich and satisfying read.
A complex, layered novel which captures the place and time with exceptional vividness. The deft plotting balances glorious romance and beautiful settings with shocking squalor and brutality, making this much more than a period piece
From the exciting beginning to a nail-biting conclusion, with the scent of market stalls and the salt from the sea running through it, I was gripped by this complex tale. Exotic. Mysterious. Beneath a Burning Sky is an absorbing, satisfying read.
Set in the sultry heat of colonial Alexandria, Beneath a Burning Sky is an exquisitely written story that combines tense, fast-paced mystery with heart-wrenching romance. Unputdownable and unforgettable
The writing is beautiful and the setting absolutely glorious . . . A rich, sweeping family saga that is lovely, lush and poignant.