It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Dream that Held Us by Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang.
About the Author
Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang is a British author whose work focuses on cultural and historical fault lines and has strong international themes. Rhiannon was born and grew up in Yorkshire and has studied, lived and worked in Europe and Asia. She read Oriental Studies (Chinese) at Oxford University and speaks Mandarin and Cantonese. Rhiannon lives in a former farmhouse in rural England with her family.
About the book
Another stunning Anglo-Indian love story from the author of The Last Vicereine, Penguin Random House 2017.
October 1985, Ash Misra leaves a blood-stained Delhi for Oxford University. Haunted by a terrible secret, he just wants to forget. Music and fresh violence bring him to fellow student and amateur violinist, Isabella Angus, but duty and the burden of history keep them apart. A quarter of a century later against the background of the global financial crisis, Sir Peter Roberts, former Master of Woodstock College, receives a letter from Ash for Isabella. They are no longer young but they had made a tryst with destiny; old terrors and suppressed desires return.
Is it true that there is nearly always a person who could have been more to you than they actually were, but it just wasn’t the right time or place. Circumstances keep people apart, but if given the opportunity is there something from the past worth rekindling? In a sense that is the story of Ash and Isabella.
Isabella has always felt as if her life was one she wasn’t supposed to have lived. One of missed moments, but as a reader I think we see things with more clarity than the woman who lives and feeds off a dream and the past.
Her counterpart doesn’t appear to have given her the same afterthought though. He has taken different paths, lived normal male clichés and perhaps more by accident returned to a love once lived. It’s story of beginnings, endings and reconnection. Driven mainly by Isabella who has let herself become immersed in what could have been and the pain of loss.
The writing weaves in and out of beautiful prose and then into a more contemporary story and language mode. It’s a hard one to pinpoint – as a reader you can feel that the author is on the verge of the kind of book you always remember and are in awe of the lyrical sound as the words meld together to become one harmonious song. Not quite there yet though. Two sides of the coin are vying for pole position, which gives the read the feeling of being drawn in by the serenity and then being thrust out again by a different style entirely.
I think Tsang is certainly an author worth revisiting. Eventually the walls will fall and the story waiting to be told will out.
Other books by Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang – Novels: The Woman Who Lost China, Open Books 2013, The Last Vicereine, Penguin Random House 2017, Short Story Anthology: Hong Kong Noir, Akashic Books 2019