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What is the book about?
Revolutionary Hearts by Pema Donyo is a historical romance set in India during the British Raj. Warren is a British general posted in the village of Hathras in Agra province. Unlike most other British generals, he treats his servants decently. The lovely Parineeta arrives at his home in the guise of a servant, to actually spy on him. She’s part of the revolution movement headed by her brother Raj. Parineeta is born of an Indian mother and British father and is not accepted by her own people as she’s considered a pariah. She sets out to spy on Warren, unaware of his agenda. Warren and Parineeta are thrown together when they are forced to run away as Warren’s cover is blown. Who is he? And what is he doing in India? Is it possible for Parineeta find happiness with him?
Revolutionary Hearts is a romantic novella revolving around the relationship between Warren and Parineeta. Set during British Raj in India, it brings to light the atrocities conducted by the British on the locals. For example, Parineeta lives the life of a pariah because her British father had abandoned her Indian mother. No man in her village is ready to come forward to wed her as she’s considered a half-breed. The British have no qualms about beating up Indian workers and servants as they treat them worse than one would animals. The author has brought out these instances very subtly without delving too much into the gore. To be applauded as this is a romantic story.
The story moves fast, from one sequence to another, building up the relationship between the protagonists. The train robbery scene has been described very well. Warren and Parineeta’s escape from Hathras helps build the romance between the two as they get to spend a lot of time together on their way to Lucknow.
In the end, Warren’s identity comes as a surprise while the suspense has been maintained well. All-in-all, Revolutionary Hearts is an interesting historical romance that makes for a quick read.
Just one flaw that I found in the book is that it's too simply written. Even the little bit of twists and turns that appear get sorted out too easily.
About the author
Pema Donyo is the author of young adult and historical romance novels. She's also a coffee-fueled college student by day and a creative writer by night. As a sophomore at Claremont McKenna, she’s still working on mastering that delicate balance between finishing homework, meeting publisher deadlines, and… college.
Black coffee, period dramas, spoken word poetry, faded book covers, and peanut butter continue to be the driving forces in her life.