Saturday, July 10, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: Fields of Gold by Fiona McIntosh

A fun way to add variety to review formats this meme was created by Alipet at That's A Novel Idea.
Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here has the Mr Linky each week so we can link up our posts .

1 Book I read: Fields of Gold by Fiona McIntosh

2 Words that describe the book: India adventure

3 Settings where it took place and/or characters I met:
  • The story begins in the years just following WWI in Cornwall then moves to Burma and India.
  • Jack Bryant - a young Cornish miner who has an eye for the ladies. When trouble catches up with him he leaves Penzance to seek his fortune abroad.
  • Ned Sinclair - a young Scotsman who with his mother and sister travels to Rangoon to join his father. When tragedy strikes he is forced to take desperate measures to ensure the survival of his sister and himself.
 4 things I liked/disliked about the book:
  • I liked that the author had based her novel on the story of her two grandfathers who both found themselves in India in the 1920's working at the Kolar goldfields and although most of the book is fiction there are little snippets of real life and real people as a foundation.
  • I liked the storyline - Jack and Ned meet in Bangalore at a time when both are looking to start their lives anew in the goldfields and they form a strong friendship. In the years that follow they remain inextricably bound by a dark secret, while their love for the same woman threatens to tear them apart.
  • I didn't like that the focus is all on the characters with little descriptive prose. It seemed a lost opportunity for the author not to spend more time evoking the sights and sounds of  India.
  • I didn't like that I began to lose interest about two thirds in - I think it was a combination of the writing style and the predictability of a two men, one woman saga with nothing else to hold my attention.
5 Stars or less for my rating:

***3 Stars for this one - despite the lovely cover and a promising synopsis it didn't really do much for me although I do think other readers might rate it higher. Those who like stories that focus on relationships and love triangles with a touch of foreign adventure will probably enjoy it.
Fiona McIntosh is an Australian author and it was the striking cover of this book that first caught my attention in a magazine.

Colourful Reading Challenge


  1. Thanks for this writeup. I've been very curious about the book after seeing the cover and description, and I investigated buying a copy, but the shipping cost to the US was quite high. I'll still watch for it, since the setting intrigues me.

  2. Thank you for the honest review. Too bad the storyline ended up being predictable. That always bothers me. I need a twist to keep my attention.

  3. It sounds like a family geneology project gone amok in some ways! The cover art is lovely. Sorry to hear it didn't live up to its promise.