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A Beggar at the Gate
by Thalassa Ali

Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 0553381776

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


A Beggar at the Gate
Thalassa Ali
Bantam, Oct 2004, $14.00, 300 pp.
ISBN: 0553381776

In 1838 India, Englishwoman Mariana Givens arrives to find herself a suitable husband amongst the British military. Many officers want her, but instead she falls in love with a native baby Saboor whose mother died from poison.. During her quest to return the allegedly mystical infant to his father, Mariana falls in love and marries Hassan Ali Khan over the objections of both their societies.

Two years later Mariana realizes she has no place in the Indian world and remains the pariah of English society. She knows it is time to return to Lahore where her spouse lives and do two acts that will destroy her soul. She must return her beloved Saboor so that he can obtain his rightful place as a person supposedly gifted with magical abilities and she must obtain a divorce from Hassan. A heartbroken Mariana must say goodbye to the two native males that she loves for the sake of peace between two cultures on the verge of deadly conflict.

The sequel to SINGULAR HOSTAGE, A BEGGAR AT THE GATE is a terrific insightful historical tale with a touch of romanticism that brings to live mid eighteenth century India. The story line moves rather quickly yet not only has full blooded key characters, but also provides a deep window into two peoples at a point of major strife seemingly ready to turn deadly. Still the center of the novel is Mariana and her relationships with the two males she loves and with Indian and English societies. Readers will beg for more sequels especially what happens to the fascinating Saboor as an adult.

Harriet Klausner


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