Meet Me in Bombay

Written by Jenny Ashcroft
Review by Clare Lehovsky

This is an intensely gripping story that takes you on a journey of past, present and the future. Maddy is swept off her feet by the mysterious stranger she sees at a sweltering New Year’s Eve Party in 1913. Luke is a friend of a friend and is determined to make Maddy deliriously happy for the rest of her life. But the tidings of war bring worry and separations that have consequences for years afterwards.

The author uses Bombay’s ancient traditions of exotic spices, intense heat and Indian-British history as her backdrop for this fraught quest for love. As the story goes on, the heat of the atmosphere brings out the warmth from the characters themselves. You feel emotionally connected to each character even though there are sides to be taken, since there are realistic consequences for all if the other choice was made. Most of all, you want to see happiness for protagonists Maddy and Luke when sometimes it feels nigh-on impossible. The novel is planned out with different times, always going back to issues in the present. The author creates a sensational world that will remain with the reader after the final page has been turned.