Viva is returning to India, and to afford her passage, she becomes a chaperone for three young people also heading to India. There’s Rose, who is going to be married to a Calvary officer whom she hardly knows. There’s Victoria, Rose’s best friend and future bridesmaid, who is determined to snag a husband of her own. And lastly there’s Guy, who has been expelled from school for reasons only vaguely described to Viva. The book follows all four characters across the ocean and into India.
I hardly know what to say about this book. It’s very, very long, so I thought it might make a good audiobook to listen to over a period of a few weeks. It did. The audiobook was completely passable, if unremarkable. The story seemed to be just about the same.
You know how sometimes you read a book and it ends up so completely average that you have nothing really to say? I’ve spent weeks trying to figure out what to put in this review, and have come up empty. There isn’t really anything bad about the book, except perhaps the plot was a bit contrived in places, and there wasn’t really anything good about it, either. I spent weeks listening to the book, only to forget most of the plot in the two weeks since I finished it. I actually had to look the character’s names up on Goodreads just to write my book summary above.
I’m still not sure I see the point of East of the Sun. By the book’s last quarter, when the action started picking up, I got the vague impression that it was trying to say something about relationships and trust, but I never found anything definite. For much of the book, I also thought maybe the author was trying to make a statement about British-Indian political climate in the late 1920s, but nothing came of that. Then there was the whole possibility of Guy’s psychological illness being a central point to grasp onto, but nothing ever came of that, either.
So I don’t know. Story-wise, the book was passable, and thematically, it touched lightly on some issues. Nothing on either of those fronts – or in characterization, or in setting, or in tone, etc – to make the book stand out. There’s really not much more that I can say than that.