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India Gray: Historical Fiction

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Travel to the Indian subcontinent with a new collection of Sujata Massey's suspenseful historical fiction. This boxed set includes five works. The title story, INDIA GRAY, is a poignant adventure set on the battlefront of Assam, India in 1945 and features Kamala and Simon, much-loved characters from the 2013 historical saga, THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY. Next in line is THE OXF Travel to the Indian subcontinent with a new collection of Sujata Massey's suspenseful historical fiction. This boxed set includes five works. The title story, INDIA GRAY, is a poignant adventure set on the battlefront of Assam, India in 1945 and features Kamala and Simon, much-loved characters from the 2013 historical saga, THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY. Next in line is THE OXFORD INCIDENT, a mystery introducing Perveen Mistry, a young law student from Bombay who is tasked with finding a disappeared Indian servant at Oxford University in 1918. A novella set in 1920s Bengal, THE AYAH'S TALE, features Menakshi, a teenaged ayah working for an elite British family, who wonders if she will ever have a chance to live for herself. ALIPORE CLUB RULES, a short story set in early 1950s Calcutta, features Kabita Lewes, an Anglo-Indian teenager who struggles with her parents' intense relationship and her own anxieties. The collection rounds out with a thriller story, BITTER TEA. In the remote Northwest Frontier area of Pakistan, a peaceful Muslim village has been overtaken by foreign undamentalists. As women lose their rights to go to school or walk outside their homes, three teenage girls conspire to change the situation. This book realistically reflects the "gray" situations that in which cross-cultural characters find themselves, habitant a world irrevocably altered by almost 400 years of colonialism. 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 220 regular book pages and will also release as a trade paperback edition on 11/24/2015.


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Travel to the Indian subcontinent with a new collection of Sujata Massey's suspenseful historical fiction. This boxed set includes five works. The title story, INDIA GRAY, is a poignant adventure set on the battlefront of Assam, India in 1945 and features Kamala and Simon, much-loved characters from the 2013 historical saga, THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY. Next in line is THE OXF Travel to the Indian subcontinent with a new collection of Sujata Massey's suspenseful historical fiction. This boxed set includes five works. The title story, INDIA GRAY, is a poignant adventure set on the battlefront of Assam, India in 1945 and features Kamala and Simon, much-loved characters from the 2013 historical saga, THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY. Next in line is THE OXFORD INCIDENT, a mystery introducing Perveen Mistry, a young law student from Bombay who is tasked with finding a disappeared Indian servant at Oxford University in 1918. A novella set in 1920s Bengal, THE AYAH'S TALE, features Menakshi, a teenaged ayah working for an elite British family, who wonders if she will ever have a chance to live for herself. ALIPORE CLUB RULES, a short story set in early 1950s Calcutta, features Kabita Lewes, an Anglo-Indian teenager who struggles with her parents' intense relationship and her own anxieties. The collection rounds out with a thriller story, BITTER TEA. In the remote Northwest Frontier area of Pakistan, a peaceful Muslim village has been overtaken by foreign undamentalists. As women lose their rights to go to school or walk outside their homes, three teenage girls conspire to change the situation. This book realistically reflects the "gray" situations that in which cross-cultural characters find themselves, habitant a world irrevocably altered by almost 400 years of colonialism. 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 220 regular book pages and will also release as a trade paperback edition on 11/24/2015.

30 review for India Gray: Historical Fiction

  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. 5 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. 5 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. 4 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. 4 out of 5

    Alisha

    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. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    An enjoyable, enlightening series of short stories about strong women. They are set in different time periods in India's history. The characters and plots are easy to love! An enjoyable, enlightening series of short stories about strong women. They are set in different time periods in India's history. The characters and plots are easy to love!

  9. 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

  10. 4 out of 5

    Beachreader

    I have read all of Sujata Massey's Perveen Mistry historical mystery series and enjoyed them. The description of Indian customs, dress, behavior, and rules is very interesting. The settings and characters are well developed. Massey is an author I want to read more of, so when I came across this title, I borrowed it from the library. I was surprised to discover that India Gray is not a novel, but a book of independent stories. The first story is about two female students enrolled at the women's co I have read all of Sujata Massey's Perveen Mistry historical mystery series and enjoyed them. The description of Indian customs, dress, behavior, and rules is very interesting. The settings and characters are well developed. Massey is an author I want to read more of, so when I came across this title, I borrowed it from the library. I was surprised to discover that India Gray is not a novel, but a book of independent stories. The first story is about two female students enrolled at the women's college connected to Oxford College. The story is a mystery and the two amateur sleuths are Perveen Mistry and her English friend Alice Hobson-Jones. In the afterward, Massey says she liked the two characters so much that she decided to make them the main characters in a new mystery series. I enjoyed reading this story and learning more about Perveen and Alice. The second story about an Ayah was published previously as a novella. I liked this the best. The third story took place in Assam India in 1945. The protagonist is a Indian woman named Kamala who is married to a white English civil servant who is sent to Assam to question and decide the fate of POWs. The story is too short to allow for satisfying plot or character development. The forth story is set in Pakistan during the Taliban uprising. It is the shortest story but it seems complete as written. The protagonist is a 14 year old girl who is determined to defy the rules of the Taliban. This is an interesting story, but the ending seems like quite a stretch. All of these stories have a central theme: the subjugation of women. This is apparent in all of Massey's books about Indians.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. 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.

  14. 4 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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Swallow

    I really enjoyed the 4 stories in this book. By far the best was story 2: The Ayah's Tale closely followed by story 1: Outnumbered at Oxford. In fact, the main character is also the main character in the next book I will read by this author - Widows of the Malabar Hill. The stories were well written and engaging but there were a few typos which could have been picked up at the proofreading stage which were a little irritating. I'm really glad that I came across this author though. I really enjoyed the 4 stories in this book. By far the best was story 2: The Ayah's Tale closely followed by story 1: Outnumbered at Oxford. In fact, the main character is also the main character in the next book I will read by this author - Widows of the Malabar Hill. The stories were well written and engaging but there were a few typos which could have been picked up at the proofreading stage which were a little irritating. I'm really glad that I came across this author though.

  16. 4 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. 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.

  17. 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. 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.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anne Herbison

    Again, social history revealed through interesting female characters in this collection of short fiction. It includes The Ayah's Tale about life for the women who looked after the children of the English in India, and Bitter Tea about a village in Afghanistan and the young girls who strive to improve their lives. Again, social history revealed through interesting female characters in this collection of short fiction. It includes The Ayah's Tale about life for the women who looked after the children of the English in India, and Bitter Tea about a village in Afghanistan and the young girls who strive to improve their lives.

  19. 5 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

  20. 5 out of 5

    Larry Roberts

    I love this collection! The Ayah's Tale novella is simply wonderful. Outnumbered at Oxford is a prequel to the Perveen and Alice series- all are great fun. The two short stories, India Gray and Bitter Tea, are marvelous as well. I love this collection! The Ayah's Tale novella is simply wonderful. Outnumbered at Oxford is a prequel to the Perveen and Alice series- all are great fun. The two short stories, India Gray and Bitter Tea, are marvelous as well.

  21. 4 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.

  22. 4 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. 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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

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

  24. 4 out of 5

    Birgit Hogan

    All Sujata Massey's stories grab you on the 1st page and don't let go until the end, they make you read late into the night. The characters are as alive as the colors of India All Sujata Massey's stories grab you on the 1st page and don't let go until the end, they make you read late into the night. The characters are as alive as the colors of India

  25. 5 out of 5

    Praveetha vijayan

    Four different stories in a 4 different settings that are wonderfully narrated. The last one (Bitter Tea) is so fulfilling and my favourite!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Interesting short stories, some with characters from novels, some new ones.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    Just read Outnumbered at Oxford by Sujata Massey.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Esfield

    Of the four stories in this collection, The Ayah's Tale (the longest of the set), is easily worth six stars. With great delicacy the narrator pulls threads from the social fabric that separated Indians from Brits and Anglo-Indians in the 1920s. The other three stories are not as compelling, although "Bitter Tea" may apt reading as the Taliban reclaimed Kabul. Of the four stories in this collection, The Ayah's Tale (the longest of the set), is easily worth six stars. With great delicacy the narrator pulls threads from the social fabric that separated Indians from Brits and Anglo-Indians in the 1920s. The other three stories are not as compelling, although "Bitter Tea" may apt reading as the Taliban reclaimed Kabul.

  29. 5 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.

  30. 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

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