A Quickie With

A Quickie with Renita D’Silva

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

A Daughter’s Courage is centred around a temple – long forgotten and given over to vegetation – languishing in the middle of a forest and surrounded by paddy fields and a coffee plantation. It is a story about religion and superstition, blind faith and sacrifice, displacement and belonging. The story in set mostly in India, a land of breath-taking beauty, prejudices and controversy, where a wild elephant stampede uncovers a contentious temple replete with towering rain-spattered anthills, consecrated peepal trees, rich history, old graves, older rumours and lost treasure.

Here’s the blurb:
How much would you sacrifice to save your family?
1929. When a passionate love affair threatens to leave Lucy in disgrace, she chooses a respectable marriage over a life of shame. With her husband, coffee-plantation-owner James, she travels to her new home in India, leaving her troubled past behind her.
Everything in India is new to Lucy, from the jewel-coloured fabrics to the exotic spices. When her path crosses that of Gowri, a young woman who tends the temple on the plantation’s edge, Lucy is curious to find out more about her, and the events that lead her to live in isolation from her family…
Now. With her career in shatters and her heart broken by the man she thought was her future, Kayva flees from bustling Mumbai to her home town. A crumbling temple has been discovered in a village nearby, and with it letters detailing its tragic history – desperate pleas from a young woman called Gowri.
As Kavya learns of Gowri and Lucy’s painful story, she begins to understand the terrible sacrifices that were made and the decision the two women took that changed their lives forever. Can the secrets of the past help Kavya to rebuild her life?
A breath-taking journey through the rolling hills of India, deep into the secrets hidden within a family. For fans of Santa Montefiore, Dinah Jefferies and Victoria Hislop.

If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?

Very unoriginal but sums me up perfectly: The Bookworm or The Reader or Her Storied Life

What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

I haven’t received any strange requests as such. I feel a bit left out now 

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

Harper Lee

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).

I am not artistic at all. I cannot draw to save my life – my husband is the one who made all the costumes for the children when they were in primary school.

Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.

Ruby by Cynthia Bond: I loved this book. It made me laugh and cry; it was hopeful and devastating.
The Truth According To Us by Annie Barrows: Beautiful coming of age story about a girl in a small town, packed with secrets. Loved it.
Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase: A story of family secrets, beautifully written. It will stay with me for a long time

Who is Renita D’Silva? Renita D’Silva loves stories, both reading and creating them. Her short stories have been published in ‘The View from Here’, ‘Bartleby Snopes’, ‘this zine’, ‘Platinum Page’, ‘Paragraph Planet’ among others and have been nominated for the ‘Pushcart’ prize and the ‘Best of the Net’ anthology. She is the author of ‘Monsoon Memories’,’The Forgotten Daughter’, ‘The Stolen Girl’, ‘A Sister’s Promise’, ‘A Mother’s Secret’ and ‘A Daughter’s Courage’.

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