By Javaid Qazi
The Remingtons of India takes place in the 1890’s, and highlights the young Katherine Remington. As the daughter of a military officer in the British Indian army, Katherine risks her family life in a torrid, love triangle between Jason Price, a wealthy and dashing stranger, and Captain Forbes, a career man. As her tale unfolds, we are thrown into the midst of warring tribes and royal scandals that take us from the ancient lands of around Delhi, to the green expanse of Simla, and beyond!
I have to admit, when I heard I would be reviewing a historical romance, I couldn’t scoff enough at the idea. I’ve always had my nose buried in tales of others worlds or stories rooted in ancient and forgotten evil. Honestly, I almost told Ash that I wasn’t the man for this job. But I digress… A review is a review, so I bit the bullet and cracked open Javaid Qazi’s Remingtons of India. I am embarrassed to say that I was pleasantly surprised.
The visuals alone in this book were breathtaking. Normally, I’m not one for fluff, yet I found this author’s writing style and description to be so elegant and concise that I forgot about the real world and all my troubles. Here’s a piece from early on that I found particularly beautiful: “Rain fell on Meerut with a fanfare of thunder and lightning. The long, dry spell broke. Like a herd of elephants, massive gray thunderheads had charged out of Bengal and swept across the flat plain that stretched north from Delhi to the Himalayan foothills. A cool, moist wind brought relief to man and beast. Birds, humans, animals, even trees and plants seemed to rejoice. Children danced and laughed and shouted with joy as raindrops pelted them.”
Our protagonist, Katherine Remington, comes to life, as she struggles to find herself as a woman in an era where few freedoms are afforded. Her emotions, actions, and reactions are spot on, and very avant garde for the time and place. Javaid is an inspiration to me, as he shows his mastery over English literature and his knowledge of foreign, historical culture through such a pleasant set of characters. The love story here is only a piece of a massive whole which all seemed integral and equally entertaining – my personal favorite being the story arc between David and his princess.
In closing, I would like to say that I learned not to judge a book by its genre, or cover. The Remingtons of India is a great story for anyone looking to get into an exotic tale of murder, romance, and personal strength. I highly recommend it. Thank you, Javaid!
By Javaid Qazi
It’s British India in 1899 when we’re introduced to the folks who make up The Remingtons of India.. As one who enjoys historical fiction that is set in this part of the world I was eager to dig in to their world and escape mine for a spell. What I didn’t expect is for it to be an all-consuming book that wouldn’t let me put it down. I read the pages of this book as if I were watching my daily soap opera unfold except it ran all day, every day. With the most beautifully written scenes and believable characters that I could never relate to but wanted to, Javaid Qazi and his Remingtons had me.
Katherine Remington is returning to her father's military bungalow from England with her aunt in tow. Since her mother's passing, Katherine has assumed duties as the head of the household while her father is away at war, which includes looking about for her younger sister, Lily, and worrying about the whereabouts of her civil service brother, David.
On the boat the night prior to their arrival, Katherine meets a soldier also returning to his post in the area, Captain Leo Forbes. Immediately the reader can tell they're taken with one another but their lives take one of them to the front lines and the other to garden parties and society functions.
Katherine isn't the only Remington you become enraptured in the life of,,,David, the eldest Remington. David's post is elsewhere in India where he works a civil service job as the ear of the Indian head of government in the area, royalty of sorts. David's predecessor is thought to have committed suicide. While there to take the reins of the deceased, he meets a mysterious young girl while walking in the forest near an abandoned rundown temple. Rani is beautiful and shy. David knows it will take time to get her to open up, but when she does can he handle what she's kept hidden from him?
There are a plethora of other character to fill the Indian summer days but I'd rather you discover these gems on your own, all well-developed and able to stand on their own. Mr. Qazi has also done an amazing job painting vivid pictures of every part of india; the good, the bad, and the ugly. My only warning is the war related violence. I, too, picked the same passage J.B did that just sent my imagination soaring. However, my favorite imagery comes during a visit to the Taj Mahal. Already somewhere I've dreamt of visiting one day, Mr. Qazi describes the immaculate tomb while allowing the character to narrate the love story behind the beautiful mausoleum
I've certainly added this book to my top 10 favorite books of all times. The vibrant colors, mixed customs, love, hurt, and loss have found their place in my heart.