[BOOKS] ✭ Under the Jeweled Sky By Alison McQueen – Ivogue.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Under the Jeweled Sky

  1. says:

    After reading Under the Jewelled Sky by Alison McQueen, I can t stop myself from quoting Rumi, the Persian poet s remarkable words, Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field I ll meet you there When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about If I ve to express the book, Under the Jewelled Sky in few short words, then I would say Painful, raw and deeply moving All thanks to the author, Alison McQueen, for sending me over the copy of her book, in return for an honest review Let s move back to the time when India has got the power to overthrow the highly acclaimed British Empire from their land the year is 1947 A sweet, innocent and pure love story blossoms between an English girl and an Indian servant boy inside a hugely lavish palace in Jaipur on the very day on India s independence.Fast forward to 10years later, when we see that English girl Sophie getting married to a diplomat and settling back in New Delhi the country which makes her heart skip a beat, to a country where she hid all her sweet memories in her closet of past dreams and hopes Sophie s doctor father lives in Ooty and knows all about her fragile heart, but will she be able to keep her heart in place to make it work with her new husband Has Sophie s heart stopped aching from the previous pain Will the past haunt he...


  2. says:

    What could be better than an historical fiction novel set in India during a time when the country was fighting for its independence I had high hopes for Under the Jeweled Sky I thought it was the perfect way to learn about the culture and history of India while reading an enchanting love story that features star crossed lovers Doesn t that seem like the ideal combination Sophie Schofield returns to England to visit her mother It s obvious from the moment Victoria opens the door that there is something from Sophie s past that has caused a rift that can t be repaired It doesn t take long for readers to see that 10 years could never be enough time away from Victoria Under the Jeweled Sky shifts focus between the present and the past when Sophie, as a teenager, lived in India Her father was employed as a doctor for the maharaj It is during these reflections that we learn a little about India and the culture This is also where the romance is brought to the surface Sophie falls in love for the first time with an Indian boy, Jag Because of his station in life and very strong prejudices , she is told to stay away.The novel seems to come full circle when Sophie and her present day husband move back to Delhi What better way to end a story than wher...


  3. says:

    Full review available on MINA S BOOKSHELF If you have a soft spot for narratives that draw you in exotic locales, moral codes and social settings of a distant time, then Under The Jeweled Sky by Alison McQueen will enchant you A star crossed love story set against the backdrop of the British expat circles during the mid century political upheaval that tore India, McQueen s novel truly is an epic tale of love and loss beautifully choreographed and flourishing with a wealth of sumptuous imagery and elegant prose, Under The Jeweled Sky unfolds with filmic perfection and a cinematic quality that is too startling to go unnoticed.The author adds depth to the historical dimension of her work without weighing down its delicate thematic structure avoiding that excess of anti climactic details and social commentary that so often plague historical fiction, McQueen captures, in her stirring narrative, the essence, the dramatic scale, and the devastating consequences of the political turmoil that brought a mid century India to its knees, with the unrelenting sense of drama and the timing of a shakespearean tragedy.If there is a trope that can be so aptly and so powerfully woven into the narrative fabric and wide scope of historical fiction, that is the star crossed lovers , the thwarted love story in the capable hands of Alison McQueen, that sense of human tragedy that invested the Indian nation in the grip of a civil war, trickles down and affects every cell of society, teari...


  4. says:

    Under the Jewelled Sky by Alison Mcqueen Read October 2013 From page one you are drawn into the story with its rhetorical questions standing unanswered Daughter comes home after many years There are so many questions This is the story of Sophie Schofield who goes to India with her parents her father, a doctor, works for a maharajah There she finds herself in love with tragic consequences Ten years later she returns to India as the wife of a Diplomat The India she lives in is very different from the one she left This is a story of family secrets moving from past to the present The characters are well portrayed and the supporting characters brought to life on the page The setting of this novel is the backdrop of India with four different aspects of the country the maharaja s palace, the horror of the refugee camps during partition, the life within the diplomatic enclave in Delhi and lastly the calm and beautiful Pilgrims.I really loved this book Be warned yo...


  5. says:

    Under the Jewelled Sky by Alison McQueen is a well written and sumptuously evocative novel about India, where the country is one of the integral characters Set at the time of Partition and a decade or so later, the writing style is so atmospheric, that it draws the reader back to the mid 1900s, when there was huge political upheaval and huge change, as the British began to take their leave On occasion the writing mirrors the language of the era, the period of the formal, slightly stilted Queen s English of the BBC, which enhances the sense of time It is the India not only of Maharajas Palaces, it is also the India of poverty, clay chillims, Sadhus, hooded cobras, and the colourful business of daily life It is pithy, a country full of paradoxes This is also the India where the British were at home the author takes the reader, for example, to Ooty Ootacamund, The Queen of hill stations a piece of Victorian England that had been scooped up and rearranged in filmic perfection, with frivolous gardens and gothic archways and a tranquil boating lake for lazy days and fishing You can quite imagine it through Alison McQueen s writing.It d...


  6. says:

    Under the Jewelled Sky is the story of Sophie, an English diplomat s wife, who returns to India, a place that holds a special place in her heart She has so many memories of India, both good and bad, and she is not sure whether she ever wanted to come back to India in the first place This story has star crossed lovers and a fantastic setting to boot set against a fascinating historical background.I really enjoyed this story It started out a little bit slowly for me but ended up being really good I loved the story and loved how it unfolded Because the book takes place in different times, the transitions did get a little confusing for me and I had to keep going back to figure out what happened when Definitely stick with it though and you get a really lovely story The love story was one of the very best parts of this book Sophie is a headstrong English girl who falls hard for Jag, an Indian boy Their worlds are too different and they know that their families would not accept their love Their love ends up ending but there is a piece that will go on and will prevent closure The setting of this book was awesome I love reading about India It seems like such an amazing place This book takes place during a very changing time in India I loved all of the history that was tied into th...


  7. says:

    A pair of star crossed lovers torn apart by their parents and a society who refuse to acknowledge their undying love for one another As their lives move on separately but always seemingly guiding each other back to one another, they witness tragedies in the extreme, beauty in the simplest of things, and hope in the lowliest of times They live for the idea that they once again might be together in the India they love and as a family they were always meant to be.This book has so much going for it, including a sweeping and truly epic love story, an ending that will stay with you for days, characters you fall in love with and who make you cry as their lives tumble about and they continue to carry on because they must, a time period that is both new to historical fiction and intriguing, and poetic and lush imagery throughout It truly was one of the best books we have read in a long while and def...


  8. says:

    Alison McQueen manages to provide a little romance and a little history without going too far in either direction, and perhaps that s what makes this book a middle of the road read The story line maintained And that is enough for some readers But the history of India is rich with strife and the love affair of forbidden race...


  9. says:

    Originally reviewed at Regular readers of the blog might know that it s quite rare when I read and review historical fiction or books with a similar subject matter I ve never really been interested in this genre and on the rare occasion when I did pick up a historical novel, I never seemed to enjoy it as much as I should have However, there was something about Under the Jewelled Sky possibly the idea of love and loss and a past better forgotten which really piqued my curiosity and I decided to read it Never in a million years did I imagine falling in love with McQueen s story as much and as quickly as I did.Starting her story with a hint of a family drama and a dark past, the author introduces us to Sophie a British girl who spent part of her childhood in India and her mother who is visibly not too keen on seeing her daughter after so many years We learn that it s been quite a long time since the two of them saw each other and they clearly haven t been in touch ever since It takes a great deal of courage on Sophie s part to make this visit, yet her mother couldn t behave in a rude and nasty way When Sophie announces that she only came to tell her something, she refuses to listen And Sophie leaves Needless to say, it was only the first chapter but I was hooked already What might have happened to cause such tensio...


  10. says:

    I will preface my review by stating that historical romance is not my preferred genre When I requested this title, I found it classified under literary fiction.Sophie Grainger arrives in India in 1957 with her diplomat husband This is not her first time in the subcontinent since she lived there ten years earlier when her father was a maharaja s physician During her first stay in India, she had an unconventional relationship with Jag, the son of an Indian servant, and the repercussions of that relationship follow her during her second sojourn memories have a habit of storing themselves up, like shoving things into the back of a closet They ll live there for so long as you care to leave them, and then, many years from now, you might find yourself cleaning out that closet one day and out they will tumble, all your memories of yesteryear Characters are problematic in this novel Many tend to be either too good or too evil to be believable Veronica Schofield, Sophie s mother, is part of the latter group She is shallow, hypocritical, and abusive one is hard pressed to find a positive quality Jag, o...


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Under the Jeweled Sky London 1957 In A Bid To Erase Her Past And Build The Family She Yearns For, Sophie Schofield Accepts A Wedding Proposal From Ambitious British Diplomat, Lucien Grainger When He Is Posted To New Delhi, Into The Glittering Circle Of Ex Pat High Society, Old Wounds Begin To Break Open As She Is Confronted With The Memory Of Her First, Forbidden Love And Its Devastating Consequences The Suffocating Conformity Of Diplomatic Life Soon Closes In On Her This Is Not The India She Fell In Love With Ten Years Before When Her Father Was A Maharaja S Physician, The India Of Tigers And Scorpions And Palaces Afloat On Shimmering Lakes The India That Ripped Out Her Heart As Partition Tore The Country In Two, Separating Her From Her One True Love The Past Haunts Her Still, The Guilt Of Her Actions, The Destruction It Wreaked Upon Her Fragile Parents, And The Boy With The Tourmaline Eyes Sophie Had Never Meant To Come Back, Yet The Moment She Stepped Onto India S Burning Soil As A Newlywed Wife, She Realised Her Return Was Inevitable And So Begins The Unravelling Of An Ill Fated Marriage, Setting In Motion A Devastating Chain Of Events That Will Bring Her Face To Face With A Past She Tried So Desperately To Forget, And A Future She Must Fight For A Story Of Love, Loss Of Innocence, And The Aftermath Of A Terrible Decision No One Knew How To Avoid.