AN EVOCATIVE NOVEL OF AN AMERICAN WOMAN’S SEARCH FOR TRANSFORMATION AND LOVE IN THE MAGICAL WORLD OF RAJASTHAN IN INDIAElena is a dreamer—but not a risk taker. So when, at 40, she finds herself alone in the romantic city of Udaipur in the desert state of Rajasthan, India, she is determined to shed her cautious persona and immerse herself in a culture “where people trace thAN EVOCATIVE NOVEL OF AN AMERICAN WOMAN’S SEARCH FOR TRANSFORMATION AND LOVE IN THE MAGICAL WORLD OF RAJASTHAN IN INDIAElena is a dreamer—but not a risk taker. So when, at 40, she finds herself alone in the romantic city of Udaipur in the desert state of Rajasthan, India, she is determined to shed her cautious persona and immerse herself in a culture “where people trace their ancestry to the sun.” On her quest, she falls in love in unexpected ways, first with an exquisite painting and then with the charismatic young artist who leads her on a beguiling, but often harrowing, journey to help her find the painting’s creator—the elusive “master painter.” The Overnight Palace takes the reader on a poetic, poignant, sometimes heartbreaking, often humorous journey into the heart of an unconventional love affair and explores the possibilities—and the risks—of transformation....
|Title||:||The Overnight Palace|
|Number of Pages||:||285 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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The Overnight Palace Reviews
Novel set in Rajasthan (“come to India, lose your fears”)India: “To understand is not important. To enjoy is important”I chose to read this novel whilst I was planning a trip to Rajasthan later in the year. Through fiction I wanted to experience this particular area of India so that I could get a sense of what to expect. It fitted the bill perfectly. I followed Elena, an American, 40 year old, as she explored the alleyways of Udaipur – where the novel is largely set – weaving in and out of the streets, observing the culture and customs of this beautiful and unique place through her observant eyes.As the book opens she decides to leave her friend and the ashram, her initiation into India, and travels by train to Rajasthan. Early on she is tempted into buying a small painting but she has hardly acquired it, when it is lost/stolen. She makes it her quest to try and find it again, or find the original artist who might be able to replicate it for her. She is soon joined by local man Sahil, some years her junior, and theirs becomes a love match as they spend time together exploring the delights – and terrors – of the area.It is a beautifully observed novel, well written and it does have jewel-like moments of pleasure. But the story of the love affair between the two doesn’t feel wholly credible – it is a culture clash that never moves beyond the superficial exploration of what it might mean to be a Western woman dating a (much younger) man in India. The focus of the story is wobbly, it feels like the author can’t make up her mind whether she wants this to be a sliding doors experience (how Elena’s story might have been different had she not bought the picture, then lost it); or whether it is to be an exploration of the local culture, populated as it is by Hindu gods, who may offer moments of enlightenment towards a more fulfilling path. The book is divided into sections headed by the goddesses Saraswati, Durga, Parvati….The ending is, well, odd. An unusual use for nail polish, it has to be said. But what I was left with was a very strong sense of place – whether is was exploring the streets of Udaipur, taking a boat across to The Taj Lake Palace on Lake Pichola (which, unless you are staying there, you can now no longer visit as they do in the book), or the sad spectacle of hand prints left as a mark of existence, by widows who jumped on to the funeral pyres of their husbands. Overall, a memorable and enjoyable read.This review first appeared on our blog: http://www.tripfiction.com/novel-set-...
Elena has always stuck to the safest paths through life. But when she finds herself unexpectedly single at the age of 40, she decides to veer away from her usual habits and do something unexpected. And this is how she finds herself in Udaipur, a sun-drenched city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Staying alone in a tourist hotel, Elena is torn between fully immersing herself in the local culture and holding herself back, as she always has. She wants to explore her buried creative side, but finds herself uninspired. Then she acquires a beautiful painting and promptly loses it in the crowd. When a charasmatic young painter offers to help her locate the master painter who created it, Elena accepts the challenge. Little does she know, the loss of the painting will lead her on a journey that will transform her into someone she never thought she could be.Set in the beautiful country of India, full of lush descriptions of the local culture, Janet Marie Sola’s "The Overnight Palace" is sure to draw readers in, holding their rapt attention through every stage of Elena’s quest. She is drawn in by the beauty and romance of India, and she finds so much more than she was expecting. The different stages of her personal transformation are compared to various Hindi goddesses, which provides a different (and gorgeous) layer of imagery to the story. Sahil, the painter who becomes Elena’s lover, is a fascinating character; he is everything that Elena is not, and he serves to be the catalyst for many of Elena’s personal character shifts. Many readers will see themselves in Elena herself, a woman who wants so badly to step outside of the box she’s always lived her life in but is not sure how to do so. "The Overnight Palace" is a gorgeous and sensual novel, one that readers of all kinds are certain to find enchanting.Review originally written for San Francisco Book Review.
When the midlife blues descend, what's a woman to do? Go to India and romance the goddesses of creativity, love, and courage. The Overnight Palace follows Elena's journey through the maze of another culture, populated by beckoning goddesses, the outrageous and sometimes tragic people she meets along the way, and a daring lover. "A gorgeous and sensual novel."--San Francisco Book ReviewAmazon readers are saying:"A Jungian fairy tale." "An engrossing page turner that's also deep and poignant.""Remarkably well-written and insightful book that should be read by Indians as well as Americans."
Janet Sola creates a rich atmosphere, believable characters and a narrative voice with great appeal. Her prose is as much a feast for the senses as it is an honest portrayal of the spiritual and emotional struggles of a woman at mid-life. Protagonist Elena's point of view remains skeptical and objective even as she finds herself falling in love with India, her newly liberated self and the charming Sahil. I'm really glad I decided to try it.
I won this story as part of a Goodreads giveaway, and was excited to see have the little handwritten note inside. The Overnight Palace is an engrossing and fantastic journey through India. The characters and their struggles are believable without becoming too self-indulgent or melodramatic, The sights and sounds of a warm and exotic climate were a welcome escape on a cold and snowy weekend.
Good easy ReadEnjoyed the book as I have lived and traveled in India. The story could be real or not but all of these things happen in India everyday. It would be insightful if one were going or bring a smile at the craziness if one has traveled in India before.