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The Prisoner of Paradise

by Romesh Gunesekera

Free-spirited Lucy joins her aunt and uncle in their Mauritian plantation home, where they hope to find her a husband. Lucy doesn’t relish the idea of ‘being settled’ and falls for Don Lambodar, an interpreter for an exiled Ceylonese Prince. Although flowery in style, this lush atmospheric romance plays out against an interesting and dramatic early 19th century backdrop of colonialism and slavery. A Pride and Prejudice in the tropics perhaps?

Extract

‘You enjoy birdsong, Miss Gladwell?’ Don asked tentatively, a step behind her. She stopped by an overgrown laurel arch and turned to look at him as though these were the first fair words he had spoken. Her eyes softened and sank. The light in them dimmed as she searched within herself rather than without. When she replied, her voice was unexpectedly wistful. ‘It is an anthem I wish would not ever fade.'

Parallels

Shadow of the Moon by M M Kaye
The Peacock Spring by Rumer Godden
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
 

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