She allows herself to kiss her perfect child just once. She wraps the baby in her last gift: a hand-knitted cardigan, embroidered with a water lily pattern. ‘You’re better off without me,’ she whispers and although every step breaks her heart, she walks away.
1910, India. Young and curious Alice, with her spun-gold hair, grows up in her family’s sprawling compound with parents as remote as England, the cold country she has never seen. It is Raju, son of a servant, with whom she shares her secrets. Together, their love grows like roses – but leaves deep thorns. Because when they get too close, Alice’s father drags them apart, sending Raju far away and banishing Alice to England…
1944. Intelligent and kind Janaki is raised in an orphanage in India. The nuns love to tell the story: Janaki’s arrival stopped the independence riots outside the gates, as the men on both sides gazed at the starry-eyed little girl left in a beautiful hand-knitted cardigan. Janaki longs for her real mother, the woman who was forced to abandon her, wrapped in a precious gift…
Now old enough to be a grandmother and living alone in India, Alice watches children play under the tamarind trees, haunted by the terrible mistake she made fifty years ago. It’s just an ordinary afternoon, until a young girl with familiar eyes appears with a photograph and Alice must make a choice. Will she spend the rest of her life consumed by dreams of the past, or can she admit her mistakes and choose love and light at last?
A stunning and heartbreaking novel about how a forbidden love can echo through the generations. Readers who love Lucinda Riley, Kathryn Hughes and The Storyteller’s Secret will be captivated.
Readers absolutely adore The Orphan’s Gift:
‘Utterly spellbinding and so beautifully written… Will draw you in and immediately transport you… This heart-warming and heartbreaking novel is a story of friendship, of love, of tragedy and loss… I absolutely LOVED it as I have ALL of Renita’s novels… Couldn’t put it down and as always the tissues were definitely needed.’ NetGalley Reviewer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
‘So beautiful!... As I was reading, I was crying… Well written and the characters were really brought to life.’ Goodreads Reviewer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
‘Wow! This was an incredible story… Fantastic and the emotions were so real.’ Goodreads Reviewer
‘I kept turning the pages until my eyes blurred. I just wanted to hear how all of the stories would come together… Look forward to checking out her other books!’ Goodreads Reviewer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
‘Could not put this book down, a real page-turner. Definitely will be recommending this book to other readers, love to read more books from this author.’ Goodreads Reviewer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
‘I could not put this story down… The ending was perfect!... This book is captivating, sad and then more sad added in. This was a quick read for me but super enjoyable.’ Goodreads Reviewer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
‘Transported me to another world… The characters are vibrant and dance off the page. I couldn’t stop once I started. I laughed and cried.’ Goodreads Reviewer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
‘This book was so good! The characters were so well rounded, you felt like you actually knew them! The plot was so good you didn’t want the book to end!’ Goodreads Reviewer
‘This book has everything… I loved each and every character and felt every emotion that they did.’ Rachel Marie’s Blog ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Customer ReviewsSee All
A beautifully written book that will bring emotions out of you in unfathomable ways
An emotionally, heart wrenching story spanning three generations of women in the midst of the harrowing unrest in India between their own citizens due to religious differences and the British involvement, their misguided political infiltration and unsuccessful attempt to bring peace between the two religions, Muslims and Hindus.
A British family, at the head of the family, a domineering father whose job was to restore order between Indians, or so that’s what he and his British counterparts justified as his presence in the country. A mother, who spent her existence behind her bedroom door and their child, who was virtually raised, nursed and learned LOVE from her nanny who also had a newborn a few months older than the daughter.
The daughter Alice and her nanny’s son RAJU grew up side by side, sharing a bond and connection that rivaled biological siblings. As the children grow older, Alice is exposed to the racial divide, injustice and oppression her own parents not only encourage but have a tendency to instill in her.
Upon reaching teen years, Alice and Raju’s bond becomes more significant than that of siblings. Once her parents catch them in an intimate embrace and kiss, she is sent away to London, her nanny, RAJU and all other Indians under their employ are fired, left without references and unable to find employment to make ends meet.
All throughout her 5 year banishment from India, Alice is determined to find RAJU, her one and only love and resume their lives together. Summoned home due to her mother’s precarious health she finds her mother on her death bed, told RAJU is married and expected to marry her fathers right hand man.
Alice does so, to give into her mothers last dying wish. After another 5 years of miserably married to a man she is unable to conceive a child with she surprisingly sees RAJU in the market square. She tracks him down, finds out the horrific pain and damage her father has bestowed upon Raju and his wife and his mother. His mother, her nanny tells her she’s caused enough damage and tells her to leave and never return. Her father finds out she’s found RAJU and he sends to a very far end of India to keep them apart. The morning before she leaves, she finds Raju to apologize and say goodbye and they make love. She finds herself with child, knowing it is Rajus as she and her husband hadn’t been intimate in several months prior to her depart.
When she returns without her fathers permission in hopes of showing her love, Raju she is with child and plans to escape with him her father again, finds out, KILLS RAJU and she leaves their baby at an orphanage in hopes she will have a better life. The years that proceed in the aftermath, the brutally devastating life her daughter has endured will break your heart.
An unexpected blessing and person reunited mother and daughter and the similarities between them both, their losses and experiences are surprisingly parallels especially given their extraordinarily different lives, starkly opposite social classes and their experiences due to those extreme differences.