Acclaimed journalist Hannah Peterson has taken flight to India after a series of sinister events surrounding the release of her controversial new book in the UK.
However, among the ancient tombs, lush jungles and chaotic cities of South India, someone is waiting for her. Meanwhile, young doctor Ashok Rao leaves his stellar career as a consultant in London to return to his family in Bangalore to choose a bride.
In this eclectic combination of thriller, romance, adventure, and narrative of cultural crossings, Hannah and Ashoks' paths become inextricably intertwined.
There are times in the opening chapters of The Moon's Complexion when Black's apparent disregard for the boundaries of genre can feel somewhat jarring; at one moment, we have an exquisite description of Ashok's return to his family home in Bangalore and his confidences in his elderly grandmother, the next Hannah is tearing through the midnight streets of Chennai in a high-octane car chase.
However, I challenge anyone to put this book down. After a while, The Moon's Complexion's combination of cliff-hangers and carefully-observed descriptions of Indian traditions, food, temples and landscapes becomes utterly irresistible. The whole novel pulsates with Black's love of India; the author has recently completed an MA on South Indian temple architecture, and her academic interests work their way quietly into the novel, providing a well-studied backdrop to the action.
A thoroughly unusual novel that will appeal to anyone who's interested in India or just enjoys a skilfully constructed page-turner. -- London Student Newspaper February 2006
`The Moon's Complexion by Irene Black is a wonderfully written
love story set in Southern India. The author's knowledge of the intricacies
of the culture is clear and this comes across in the beautiful prose. A
-- Shelf review, Ottakers Bookshop, Guildford
From the Back Cover
Bangalore, India 1991. Ashok Rao, a young Indian doctor, has returned home
from England to choose a bride.
But who is the intriguing Englishwoman who seeks him out? Why is she afraid
and what is the secret that binds them together?
The lives of two strangers are turned upside down when they meet and the
past comes to haunt them. The Moon's Complexion is a tale of love across
cultural boundaries. It is also a breath-taking thriller played out in the
mystical lands of Southern India and Sri Lanka and in the icy countryside
of winter England.