by Dianne Noble
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction
Polly leaves her husband and travels to India. There she meets the charismatic Finlay and begins a new - and dangerous - life of teaching street children in the slums.
She battled her way to the open space where Finlay waited for her. The air filled with the metallic smell of blood.
‘Have you seen enough, Poll?’
A nod as she put her hand in his. In a metal pen stood a black goat. A doomed but stoical goat.
‘There’s the guillotine,’ Finlay said, nodding towards a huge metal blade fixed to the stone floor, bordered by fresh sawdust.
‘I thought they’d use a knife or a ceremonial sword or something...’ She felt faint, took hold of the back of his belt as the temple bells clanged and men hawked and spat near her feet. Without warning, vomit rose in her throat. She spat it on the ground as he dragged her along, hoping he wouldn’t look round.
Finlay upended a Fanta crate near a drinks barrow and bought her iced water. ‘Sit there.’ He peered down at her. ‘You’re a bit pale. Drink this.’
After a few mouthfuls she managed a feeble grin. ‘Horrible place.’
‘Well, you did insist.’ He turned over another crate and sat beside her. ‘Better now?’
‘Yes. Thank you.’
She looked up. A small crowd of men had formed around them. Sharp words from Finlay and a few moved away.
‘You speak Hindi.’
‘Of course. This has been my home for so long.’ His eyes met hers. Not laughing eyes now. ‘I’m nearly twenty years older than you, Poll. Is that a problem?’
‘No.’ She took his hands. ‘It’s not.’ Oh Lord, maybe he thinks I’m too immature. ‘Is it a problem for you?’
He shook his head, smiled, kissed one of her hands and then the other. A collective murmur came from the crowd.
Very impressed with this book. This author is well talented that she's able to make you feel as if you are in India. While reading your imagination really can see what the author is telling. This is well thought out and written book with an amazing story line!
I was born into a service family and at the tender age of seven found myself on the Dunera, a troopship, sailing for a three year posting to Singapore. So began a lifetime of wandering – and fifteen different schools. Teen years living in Cyprus, before partition, when the country was swarming with handsome UN soldiers, and then marriage to a Civil Engineer who whisked me away to the Arabian Gulf.
Most of the following years were spent as a single parent with an employment history which ranged from the British Embassy in Bahrain to a goods picker, complete with steel toe-capped boots, in an Argos warehouse. In between I earned my keep as a cashier in Barclays, a radio presenter and a café proprietor on the sea front in Penzance.
My travels have taken me to China, Egypt, Israel, Guatemala, Russia, Morocco, Belize and my favourite place, India. I keep copious notes and constantly dip into them to ensure my writing is atmospheric.
A Hundred Hands will be $0.99 during the tour.