When Chandni Rai turned thirteen, two things happened to change the course of her entire life. Her father died suddenly. And, she discovered a clue to the mystery of her missing grandmother who had been a child-bride - a piece of paper stuck behind an old photograph.
Her grandmother’s name is never mentioned in the family, the townspeople spread malignant rumours. Chandni at nineteen is determined to unearth the truth and re-instate honour into her family’s name. After her marriage to the handsome TJ, she must prepare to leave for Manchester, England but is determined to see her mother one more time and flouting social norms travels alone by train when it is attacked by robbers; she undertakes a feat of remarkable daring by pretending to be dead leading to the turning point in her life.… "With a booted foot one of them turned her over…her hackles rose…how dare he? Later, looking back at the events of that day, Chandni would wonder why she had been spared."
The indomitable Chandni does not give up and when her grandmother’s old retainer appears on the horizon, it is as if fate decides to lend a hand in the next phase of Chandni’s life. She listens spellbound to the poignant love story of the ill-fated Prince Kunjan and the hauntingly beautiful Kantabali. Her grandparents had appeared to her on purpose. It was up to her to find out why.
Chandni will cross continents to join her husband where things are not as she had imagined; she must make yet another choice after the birth of their son. Facing insurmountable odds can she fight her way out of an abusive relationship and return to India with her son where society is sure to reject her? Can the warrior in Chandni rise to fulfill her grandmother’s vision?
Spanning a period between early to mid-twentieth century, and moving from eastern to central India then to Manchester, England, Moonlight - The Journey Begins explores the complexities of life, Christian missionary influence on colonial India, the love for one's family that is willing to forgive them for their mistakes, to learn from ancestors.