Book reviews, Womens fiction

The Girl in The Painting by Renita D’Silva – Book Review



Discover the secret of the girl in the painting today.

India, 1926: English Margaret arrives with her new husband Suraj at his family home, set amidst beautiful rolling hills, the air filled with the soft scent of spices and hibiscus flowers. Margaret is unwelcome, homesick and lonely, but her maid Archana, a young woman from an impoverished family, reminds her of her long-lost sister, a tiny glimpse of home in a faraway place.

As Margaret and Archana spend more time together, an unexpected friendship blooms. But in British India the divide between rich and poor, English and Indian, is wide, and the clash between Margaret’s modern views and the weight of tradition on Archana will lead to devastating results…

England, 2000: When Emma’s grandmother gives her a mysterious painting, and asks her to take a message of forgiveness to an old friend in India, Emma is relieved to have some time and space to make a decision about her future. But as she fulfils her grandmother’s wish, a secret kept for over seventy years is finally revealed – the story of a day spent painting by a stream full of water lilies, where a betrayal tore three lives apart forever…

Perfect for fans of Kathryn Hughes, Lucinda Riley and The Storyteller’s Secret, Renita D’Silva’s exquisite novel explores the strength it takes to do what is right, no matter the cost.



Margaret grows up in England around the time World War One began, her father joins up to fight, leaving her and her mother to cope alone.

Knowing it unsafe to stay in the family home they are determined not to leave, but then tragedy strikes when the house is destroyed in a bombing raid and only Margaret and her Sister, Winnie survive. They move to their Uncles farm, but feel in the way and unwanted.

But, Winnie then finds love and marries and Margaret decides to leave the farm and study in London….where she meets Suraj….they eventually fall in love and move to India.

More tragedy, when Suraj’s parents die in an accident and life in India is so different to that back home, the poverty, the caste system and other traditions, such as Sati, where a widow will throw herself on the funeral pyre of her husband to die….

The Girl In The Painting is a marvellous, well written and compelling book, a story of many facets, local customs, many secrets and so much tragedy and sadness. A tale of consequences and doing the right thing. Stunning.

Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest review.

Author Bio:

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’, ‘A Daughter’s Courage’, ‘Beneath An Indian Sky’.

Author Social Media Links

TWITTER: @RenitaDSilva

Publication Day:  April 11th 2019

Apple Books:

Book reviews

Pilgrim by Louise Hall – Book Review



In Dublin, fourteen-year-old Jen and her father, Charlie, are struggling to cope with the death of their mother/wife.

Charlie, in particular, seems to have given up on life.

When Jen’s aunt, Suzanne, convinces them to go on a pilgrimage to a strange village in Yugoslavia, there is hope that some solace or healing may be brought to their broken lives.

On their arrival, however, they find a village in upheaval. An influx of pilgrims have swarmed into the village, each looking for their own miracle. Then there are the local police, who aim to suppress this so-called `revolution’.

Amid all this, Jen makes a friend, Iva – one of the children who claims to have seen the Virgin Mary. Told with a deep humanity and grace, Pilgrim is a story about a man who feels he has nothing to live for, and a daughter who is determined to prove him wrong.

A nuanced and moving exploration of grief and faith. Unique subject matter based around the famed Medjugorje apparitions. The author already has a dedicated readership built up from her two non-fiction books on Medjugorje. This is her first fictional take on the story.



Pilgrim by Louise Hall is a tale about hope, faith and love.

It’s tells of Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, where some young children saw a woman carrying the baby Jesus, she had a message…She came to tell the world God exists.

As a result many many travellers visited the small village on a pilgrimage…

The story is of a few of these, Charlie and Jen from Dublin, struggling to come to terms with the sudden death of wife and mother, Sarah. The Franciscan and Iva, the young girl who sees the Gospa….it also touches on the military and political situation in the former Yugoslavia, but the ultimate message is one of love and family…

This is a very moving and emotional read, it will touch your soul a little and leave some of itself with you for a long time. Wonderfully emotive writing by Louise Hall.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.





Louise Hall is from Malahide, Co. Dublin. She has previously published two works of non-fiction, Medjugorje: What it Means to Me and Medjugorje and Me: A Collection of Stories from Across the World. Her fiction has been published in The Irish Times and been shortlisted for numerous competitions, such as the RTÉ Guide/Penguin Short Story Award, the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Competition and the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards. Pilgrim is her debut novel.


Twitter: @LouHallWriter

Instagram: @louisehallwriter


Paperback: 288 pages
• Publisher: The Mercier Press Ltd (14 Sept. 2018)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1781176167
• ISBN-13: 978-1781176160