The results of the Captivating Opening competition that I staged during January thru March are now in!
The selection procedure relied upon grabbing my attention as I swiftly browsed the Amazon previews of books ... much like one does in a bookstore.
I'd like to thank all who took part and sincerely lament that the final choices were very hard to make and many entries missed the cut by a mere hair.
Okay, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but it was very edifying – I was surprised at the sheer number of captivating openings even though the competition had been hotly contested.
The Winner is… *roll of drums*:
Layla Roy has defied the fates. Despite being born under an inauspicious horoscope, she is raised to be educated and independently-minded by her eccentric Anglophile grandfather, Dadamoshai. And, by cleverly manipulating the hand fortune has dealt her, she has even found love with Manik Deb—a man betrothed to another. All were minor miracles in India that spring of 1943, when young women’s lives were predetermined—if not by the stars, then by centuries of family tradition and social order.
Layla’s life as a newly married woman takes her away from home and into the jungles of Assam, where the world’s finest tea thrives on plantations run by native labor and British efficiency. Fascinated by this curious culture of whiskey-soaked ex-pat adventurers who seem fazed by neither earthquakes nor man-eating leopards, she struggles to find her place among the prickly English wives with whom she is expected to socialize, and the peculiar servants she now finds under her charge.
But navigating the hazards of tea-garden society will hardly be her biggest challenge. For even Layla’s remote home is not safe from the incendiary change sweeping India on the heels of the Second World War. Their colonial world is at a tipping point as tectonic political shifts rock the tea industry, and Layla and Manik find themselves caught in a perilous racial divide that threatens their very lives.
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The three runners up (in no particular order) are… *more rolling of drums*
Thanks guys for grabbing me with your salient narratives!
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