Review: Captured by Moonlight, by Christine Lindsay

Captured by Moonlight, by Christine LindsayCaptured by Moonlight, by Christine Lindsay (WhiteFire Publishing, 2013)

Captured by Moonlight is the second book in Christine Lindsay’s India-based Twilight of the British Raj series. Readers who enjoyed book one, Shadowed in Silk, will be glad to get hold of book two, and if you missed the first one you can jump in here.

Shadowed in Silk was predominantly Abby’s story although it did introduce Laine Harkness and Eshana, the heroines of Captured by Moonlight. Abby doesn’t play a significant part in this novel, but readers who count her a friend will appreciate seeing what’s going on in her life now.

The series is set in the early 1920s as the British rule in India is faltering and as Gandhi’s teachings are gaining hold. Historical figures are occasionally mentioned, but the central characters are fictional. Captured by Moonlight opens with Laine and Eshana rescuing (the authorities call it stealing) a pregnant Hindu temple prostitute who’s only 14. They’ve done this once before, but this time they’re seen.

Laine, a military nurse, could face disciplinary action. Eshana, a Christian who was once Hindu, could face much worse, especially if her family gets hold of her. To them she’s an offense: according to tradition, as a widow she should be hidden away, garbed in white and with a shaved head, not running a Christian mission.

Laine and Eshana leave the city of Amritsar in a hurry, Laine to work with two missionaries doing cholera research in Madras and Eshana to deliver the recovering temple prostitute to another mission where the girl will have a chance to gain an education and a happier life.

Both women encounter people they would have avoided at all costs: Laine meets her former fiancé, Adam, who broke off their relationship during the war. Eshana meets her uncle, who imprisons her. When Eshana’s friends realize she’s missing, Doctor Jai Kaur leaves Amritsar to search for her. He’s a devout Sikh, and she’s a Christian, each seeking God as they understand Him and each wishing the other could see God their way so they could be together.

Eshana is physically a prisoner, and her struggles to encourage herself in her faith are authentic and inspiring. I love how she dances her praises in her tiny room. Adam is a self-imposed prisoner on his estate with his former army troop, trying to keep his ongoing feelings for Laine at bay. Eshana longs for release, but Adam clings to his “cage”. Both will need help to walk into freedom.

The romances of Laine and Adam, Eshana and Jai, play out against a lush and dramatic setting involving tigers, cholera, monsoons, poisonous snakes and the after-effects of war. Captured by Moonlight is a richly detailed and evocative read, and I look forward to the third installment in the series, Veiled at Midnight, releasing in 2014.

You can read an excerpt from Captured by Moonlight or learn more about award-winning Christian author Christine Lindsay by clicking the links in this sentence. You can also find Christine Lindsay at her Facebook page.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

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