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R J Samuel was born in Nigeria, to Indian parents from Kerala. She grew up in different parts of Nigeria with a brief stint in boarding school in the Nilgiri Hills in India and occasional summers in Kerala, London, and New York. In 1984, she moved to Ireland to complete her medical studies and vividly remembers the shock of arriving at Galway Train Station on an icy October night. Despite that traumatic first meeting, she fell in love with Galway and has remained there since, apart from a 3-year episode in the southwest of France. She is an Irish citizen and now considers herself almost Irish as well as almost Indian. Her first novel, 'Heart Stopper,' was published in February 2012 and her second novel, 'Falling Colours - The Misadventures of a Vision Painter,' in June 2012. Her third novel, Casting Shadows - The Further Misadventures of a Vision Painter, was published in January 2013. Her novels are set in the West of Ireland, in Galway and Connemara, and also in Kerala, India.
She has been writing creatively for 6 years, excluding her period in France where she wrote nothing creative, probably because she was running a restaurant\bar despite having a background in Medicine (she is a qualified medical doctor) and IT (she has a Masters in IT) and absolutely no background in restaurants, apart from eating in them.
Her story 'Helmets' was shortlisted for the 2011 Over the Edge 'New Writer of the Year Competition' and she was the only entrant to have both her fiction and her poetry long-listed for the Doire Press '1st Annual International Fiction and Poetry Chapbook Competition' in January 2012. Her fiction entry, 'The Vision Painter,' went on to be shortlisted for this competition and was the basis for her second novel, 'Falling Colours - The Misadventures of a Vision Painter.'
on Jan. 31, 2013 :
Indian/Irish vision painter Kiran is the only vision painter in Ireland, she is also the only woman vision painter in the world. Unfortunately after her previous misadventures, Kiran is currently unable to vision paint. Her relationship with Ashley however, is going extremely well. In fact, they are taking their relationship to the next level and trying for a baby. Like all things in love and real life, nothing is destined to run smoothly.
When Kiran gets a call from her father that her mother is, or could be seriously ill, Kiran must immediately return to India. The result of this phone call could well change the lives of everyone forever.
This is RJ Samuel’s third book. With each book, I grow to love her writing more. Her stories are well written page turners. This series is spellbinding and magical and although the series has an element of fantasy, I found myself almost believing the impossible.
This story is completely enthralling and absorbing. Once I’d started this book, I couldn’t put it down. The story had me feverishly turning the pages until I’d finished it. No matter how hard I tried to slow up, I couldn’t. I simply had to know what happened and how the book ended. In doing this, I did this wonderful book an injustice. But no worries. I knew I would be reviewing it, so I simply re-read it more slowly the second time to savour the story without the pressures of not knowing how it ended. My second reading was just as pleasurable and intense as the first.
This story is actually written in the past and the present and is so intricately woven that it’s seamless. It was a great idea to give the reader the background on vision painters. Also it cleared up a lot of things I’d been wondering about Kiran’s past.
RJ takes the reader back into the past and tells of how Kiran’s parents met, married and their struggles and traumas along the way. We also learn of how Kiran became a vision painter against all odds.
The myriad of emotions this book evoked went far beyond any I’ve experienced for quite sometime when reading a book. In the span of minutes I went from a calm and serene feeling, to a laugh out loud humour and intense anger and back again to calm and serene.
The scenic descriptions are so vivid I could feel myself amongst the characters. I’ve never visited Kerala, India, so I took a look online after finishing this book. The photographs I found matched exactly the way I’d imagined Kerala to be. The Irish scenes are equally as well described.
There is actually two romances in this book. The romance between Kiran’s parents and the romance between Kiran and Ashley. But this book isn’t actually just a romance, it’s a story wrapped around a fantasy, which appears to be very real. A story full of love and hate with so many twists and turns I didn’t have a clue as to how it was going to end.
Each and every one of these well formed and multidimensional characters played an essential part in progressing the story forward to its climatic conclusion. Although this book ended, I feel these characters have a lot more to offer us. I would love to see at least one more book added to make a trilogy, more if possible. Although this book is a sequel, it can also be read as a standalone. But I would urge you to read Falling Colours first. You will be sorely missing out on a great read if you don’t. Plus it will give you the chance to get to know some of the characters better.
I eagerly await RJ Samuel’s next book. This one will join Heart Stopper and Falling Colours on my re-read pile.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)