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The Moonlit Cage


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Enthralling, unusual and richly textured, The Moonlit Cage is a thrillingly realistic evocation of a lost world. It is a novel you will never forget.

About the Author

Linda Holeman is the author of six books for young adults and two collections of short stories for adults, all of which have won numerous awards in the US and her native Canada. This is her second novel for adults. She has three children and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Darya, a young Muslim girl, has lived her whole life among family and friends in a small village on the border of Afghanistan and India, yet something in her rebels at the social constraints placed upon her. She need not yearn for change, as it is forced upon her by her stepmother, who trades her in marriage to a stranger from another tribe. Darya must accept a nomadic life among a people who both despise her and are threatened by her intelligence. The story follows Darya as she endures cruel treatment by her husband and finally manages to escape, first to India and then to London. Holeman (The Linnet Bird) is quickly establishing herself as a writer who portrays women of the Victorian era as three-dimensional characters with desires, strengths, and flaws. Readers familiar with Emma Donoghue's Slammerkin will love this new book, as will those intrigued by stories of the Middle East. Fans of romantic historical fiction will be recommending it to their friends. Recommended for public libraries, especially those with large historical fiction/romance collections.--Marika Zemke, West Bloomfield Township P.L., MI Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

'A suspenseful, entertaining novel. The portrait Holeman paints of Afghanistan and tribal life at the time of the British Raj is brilliant. Her complex characters are likeable and easily capture the reader's interest. She has created a heroine of immense inner strength and self-knowledge unique for a Muslim girl of her background' -- Historical Novels Review

Holeman (The Linnet Bird) explores the fate of a willful Muslim girl in this exotic and expansive coming-of-age historical romance. Growing up in 19th-century Afghanistan where women are expected to be obedient and subservient, young Dary? dreams of adventure and freedom. "I could not be obedient," she laments and is consequently cursed by her father's second wife and sold to an abusive nomad. Fearing for her life, she runs away and is rescued by David Ingram, an enigmatic Englishman. He's the first man to show Dary? kindness, and during a long, perilous journey to Bombay, she falls in love with him. Suppressing his own feelings, David arranges to leave Dary? behind in India while he returns to England. Desperate to rejoin David, Dary? agrees to travel to London as the companion of the shady Osric Bull, though he has sinister plans for her. The narrative falters when the setting shifts to London, but fans of the genre will appreciate the vivid rendering of tribal life and the sobering look at what it means to live where it's believed "[m]en are created to enjoy; women to give enjoyment to them." (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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