Thursday, June 27, 2013

G158 E-Reading Book Review of Rising of a Dead Moon by Paul Haston

Name of Book: Rising of a Dead Moon

Author: Paul Haston

ISBN: 9781480025370

Publisher: Createspace

Type of book: 1800s, Africa, India, widowhood, destiny vs free will, spirituality, white male/Indian female, progressiveness, prejudice

Year it was published: 2012


An Indian girl is forced into an arranged marriage then widowed. She escapes a widow's burning and flees to Africa to find the father who has abandoned her.

**WHOLE BOOK CURRENTLY FREE TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD** Click 'Read Book' below the picture.

Set against a backdrop of 19th century Indian Indenture, the shipment of Indians to work on white-owned sugar plantations in Natal, Paul Haston's critically acclaimed novel is a story of hope and tragic drama


Usha is a beautiful sixteen year old woman who recently became a widow. She was married for four years and her husband passed away. She then bore the stigma of being a widow and after being turned away from her mother she goes to Africa to find her father. Personality wise she is spiritual, brave and unconventional as well as a survivor. She is very admirable. Rothwell was a soldier who sacrificed a friend to keep a manservant alive and then after a war he inherits the plantation where Usha works. He is progressive, idealistic, loyal, optimistic and determined. I'm not sure of Usha, but I guess that Rothwell does undergo changes throughout the novel and he is a well rounded character.


One can't outrun the destiny


Its written in third person narrative from Usha's and Rothwell's point of view. Unfortunately the readers don't get to spend a lot of time Usha and I would have liked to get to know her beyond the 'widow' and 'woman' labels, although I wonder if that was done on purpose? Most of the book is from Rothwell and he and his progressive ideas as well as the challenges he faced trying to get people to see beyond the label 'coolie' really will have the reader cheering for him. I also admit that the ending was written disappointingly and seemed to be a little too sudden. What has happened to Rothwell and the Erskine plantation?

Author Information:

London, The United Kingdom


Historical Fiction, Fiction, Romance

member since
October 2012

Originally from England, Paul Haston lives with his family on the west coast of Canada and takes inspiration from his surroundings. Writing is a passion and absorbs much of his time. Writing credits include novels 'Rising of a Dead Moon' and 'Blood and Doves', several short stories and screenplays. Paul has recently been absorbed in writing his most recent novel, 'Shadow of the Tiger', which like 'Rising of a Dead Moon' has a Indian flavour, as well as promoting his screenplay adaptation of 'Rising of a Dead Moon', which is posted on InkTip.

The plight of Indian labourers under indenture forms a harrowing backdrop to his emotive novel 'Rising of a Dead Moon'. Filled with hope and tragic drama, the book's central character Usha, a young Indian woman, struggles to escape the hardship of her widowhood and find the father who has abandoned her.

'Blood and Doves' is a masterful blend of the dark and comic as working class anti-hero Ernest tries to overcome the demons of his past. A tragic love story with a twist set amongst the constraints of the Victorian class structure.

The author can be contacted via email at or via his Facebook page.


I was asked to read and give my view of the book, which I will do so. Its a strangely haunting and vivid novel that takes place in India and Africa. I was worried it might be eye-rolling or predictable, but it wasn't. There is a strong current of predestination and fate versus free will, and also it somehow struck me that gods or higher powers were playing with both characters and the readers. Will they be together or won't they is the ultimate question. In beginning I had a strange dislike for Rothwell, worrying that there might be idealism in the book, but then he grew on me and I really rooted for him. The author is realistic that Rothwell's changes didn't go over well and not one of the colonists liked him. Usha herself is likable and I had high hopes of a happy ending between them. I would have liked more explanations of the Indian culture and why things were done the way they were did.

Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sveta,
    Thanks so much for your kind words on Rising of a Dead Moon. I'm glad you liked the book and I would like to really thank you for spending the time reading and reviewing it in such detail. I said before and I'll say again, I'm impressed with the writing on your blog. Your opinions are insightful and true and I like the way you don't pander to popularity, but recognise the true worth of a piece of writing. Do you write any fiction yourself? I get the impression you would be quite good at it!
    kind regards


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