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East India: “Even if God forsakes you, I will find you.” (Classic Historical Fiction Book 6)

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Amsterdam, 1628. Cornelia Noorstrandt is a fine lady and a beautiful one, traveling alone on an eight-month voyage to the other side of the world, on a tiny and overcrowded ship at a time when most navigation was done by dead reckoning – guesswork. What could possibly go wrong? In any other circumstance, a man like Michiel van Texel would never have met a fine lady such a Amsterdam, 1628. Cornelia Noorstrandt is a fine lady and a beautiful one, traveling alone on an eight-month voyage to the other side of the world, on a tiny and overcrowded ship at a time when most navigation was done by dead reckoning – guesswork. What could possibly go wrong? In any other circumstance, a man like Michiel van Texel would never have met a fine lady such as her. He was just a soldier, a sergeant in the Dutch East India company’s army, on his way to the Indies to fight the Mataram. Such a woman was far above the likes of him. But both their destinies intertwine far away from Holland, on some god-forsaken islands near the Great Southland. When their great ship, the Utrecht, founders far from home, surviving the Houtman Rocks is the least of their worries. As the fine gentlemen around her reveal themselves for what they really are, Cornelia’s only hope is a mercenary in a torn coat who shows her that a man is more than just manners and money. He makes her one promise: ‘Even if God forsakes you, I will find you.’ But can he keep it?


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Amsterdam, 1628. Cornelia Noorstrandt is a fine lady and a beautiful one, traveling alone on an eight-month voyage to the other side of the world, on a tiny and overcrowded ship at a time when most navigation was done by dead reckoning – guesswork. What could possibly go wrong? In any other circumstance, a man like Michiel van Texel would never have met a fine lady such a Amsterdam, 1628. Cornelia Noorstrandt is a fine lady and a beautiful one, traveling alone on an eight-month voyage to the other side of the world, on a tiny and overcrowded ship at a time when most navigation was done by dead reckoning – guesswork. What could possibly go wrong? In any other circumstance, a man like Michiel van Texel would never have met a fine lady such as her. He was just a soldier, a sergeant in the Dutch East India company’s army, on his way to the Indies to fight the Mataram. Such a woman was far above the likes of him. But both their destinies intertwine far away from Holland, on some god-forsaken islands near the Great Southland. When their great ship, the Utrecht, founders far from home, surviving the Houtman Rocks is the least of their worries. As the fine gentlemen around her reveal themselves for what they really are, Cornelia’s only hope is a mercenary in a torn coat who shows her that a man is more than just manners and money. He makes her one promise: ‘Even if God forsakes you, I will find you.’ But can he keep it?

30 review for East India: “Even if God forsakes you, I will find you.” (Classic Historical Fiction Book 6)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I recommend this book to historical fiction readers and people who love to read. The author's writing mechanics are, as always, very good. I have read several of his books, and he has never disappointed me in his written word. I am somewhat confused about the route the Dutch East India fleet took in traveling by ship from Holland to the East Indies. It just seems like they took the long way around, but what do I know about such distances by sea? This book is based on a true story that occurred in I recommend this book to historical fiction readers and people who love to read. The author's writing mechanics are, as always, very good. I have read several of his books, and he has never disappointed me in his written word. I am somewhat confused about the route the Dutch East India fleet took in traveling by ship from Holland to the East Indies. It just seems like they took the long way around, but what do I know about such distances by sea? This book is based on a true story that occurred in the 17th century when the money made in trade between Europe and the Indies outweighed the dangers on the high seas. Lady Cornelia of Holland traveled on the trade ship to join her husband who already lived in the Indies. Her character will change for the better on the voyage. She and Commander Ambrose were of the same class, and will keep company until disaster strikes. The Commander appears to be a strong and dedicated man to his employer and to Cornelia, but his true character is unveiled when the ship meets disaster on a coral reef. What happened to the crew and passengers thereafter is a sordid tale. In their actions, all of the shipwrecked people will fall to baseness rather than rising to their better selves, which is the meat of the story. What man will do to man because of greed is appalling . The saddest truth is that no one is above giving in to greed. Greed for fortune, shelter, food, and water is especially exhibited in Ambrose. Better, but not perfect, natures will be seen in Cornelia and Michiel. Every shipwrecked character will prove how low a person will go when opportunity comes calling. Read the book, look at the characters, and then look at yourself. Thank you, Mr. Falconer, for a good read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Stockard Miller

    To me, few things are better than a great stand alone historical novel. I knew that the author had a talent for the historical fiction craft way back when I read, When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra, (in my pre-blogging days). And he does not disappoint with East India. What the author does best in this novel is to really bring out the true grit of what travel by sea must have been like in the 17th century. I certainly can't imagine being on board a ship, in cramped and less than hygienic con To me, few things are better than a great stand alone historical novel. I knew that the author had a talent for the historical fiction craft way back when I read, When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra, (in my pre-blogging days). And he does not disappoint with East India. What the author does best in this novel is to really bring out the true grit of what travel by sea must have been like in the 17th century. I certainly can't imagine being on board a ship, in cramped and less than hygienic conditions, for seven to eight months at a time. And yet, this book had me feeling uncomfortable because it did make me imagine what it was like and I was thankful that when I was able to tear myself away from reading it, I was safely in my comfy home. And not only was there far from ideal comfort on board the ship, but there were constant undertones of danger and gossip. Mutiny seemed to always be a possibility among the ship's crew. The main character, Cornelia, is a high ranking lady and beautiful as well. So, of course, she is admired by some and vilified by others, thinking she's haughty and high minded. What struck me about her was that she was just really unhappy. A loveless marriage and the thought of travelling to be with the man she did not love, coupled with the arduous sea journey could not have been a happy time for anyone. What befalls her only makes matters worse. What we learn in East India is that a good portion of the seven deadly sins are very present aboard ship and this leads to a very tragic outcome. Not only is East India historically accurate (am I the only one who has never heard of a bosun or a provost?), but it also does an excellent job of showing us human nature through the vivid characterization and action. As I was reading, I could picture each character - what they looked like and what they were about. It was like watching a movie in my head. The author has quite a back list of novels, some of which are sitting on my 'to be read/to be reviewed' stack, and after reading East India, I know I'm in for a treat in my future reading.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Meg - A Bookish Affair

    "East India" is a historical fiction that starts out during a archaeology dig in the present day before flashing back to the 17th century. Right from the very beginning, there is a mystery as to who exactly the bodies are that the archaeologists find in the present day. When we are swept back to the 17th century during the time of high seas adventures in the Dutch East India Company, we uncover those people. This book is billed as a love story and yes, a love story is present; however, there is "East India" is a historical fiction that starts out during a archaeology dig in the present day before flashing back to the 17th century. Right from the very beginning, there is a mystery as to who exactly the bodies are that the archaeologists find in the present day. When we are swept back to the 17th century during the time of high seas adventures in the Dutch East India Company, we uncover those people. This book is billed as a love story and yes, a love story is present; however, there is something more sinister and gruesome that hides within these pages! At the core of the story is a true life ship wreck. Before reading this book I had never really read much about the Dutch East India Company and wasn't really familiar with the places they went and what the company was like. I love when historical fiction is able to bring some of the lesser known historical events to life! This book is definitely not what I expected. I was expecting more of a love story. The back of the book says that it was described by one credit as "Jack and Rose in the 17th century" referring to, of course, the famous ill-fated on-screen love affair in Titanic. Yes, again there is a love story in "East India." And yes, there is a boat. But the love story between rich Cornelia and soldier Michiel becomes a mere side dish to the main story. That main story is a fairly is a fairly depraved and violent one where are the people from the ship are now forced to survive after being brutalized by those that they thought they might of been able to trust once. All the detail in this book is very good! Though, readers who like gentler stories may want to steer clear of this one. To some degree, some of this book felt almost like a horror novel. Once they ship wrecks, the real action really starts. Although this book was a lot different than I was expecting, I must admit that the writing was very good and pulled me in. The author makes you feel the fear that the shipwrecked people feel with a lot of realness!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leonide Martin

    The story of the Dutch ship Batavia, shipwrecked off the coast of Australia in 1629, has been told many times. It is a tale of unrelenting brutality and horror, a testimony to the worst possible of human behavior. In East India, Falconer relates the essential parts of the Batavia shipwreck, the plot following actual events quite closely, but enriches it with a love story that transcends class and wealth and shows the heroic potential of men and women. Readers are quickly drawn into the intrigues The story of the Dutch ship Batavia, shipwrecked off the coast of Australia in 1629, has been told many times. It is a tale of unrelenting brutality and horror, a testimony to the worst possible of human behavior. In East India, Falconer relates the essential parts of the Batavia shipwreck, the plot following actual events quite closely, but enriches it with a love story that transcends class and wealth and shows the heroic potential of men and women. Readers are quickly drawn into the intrigues aboard a newly built Dutch ship on a 9 month voyage to Java. Relationships of mutual sympathy, animosity, jealousy, and revenge weave into a complex web in this small inescapable community facing the stresses of sea voyage. If I ever am able to actually time travel, please remind me NOT to return as a seaman on a 17th century vessel! Descriptions of conditions on board are vivid and disgusting, and plots unfold as tensions mount. The mutiny plotted by the skipper and undermerchant (second in command) slowly plays out amid lust after the fine lady on board. The commander is revealed as conflicted and uncertain how to maintain his command, seeming to abandon the ship's survivors on barren rocks after the wreck. Their struggle for survival is hindered by the undermerchant, assuming leadership but acting as a king after his own interests. We might think the gruesome things he and his henchmen did are unrealistic, except that their behavior was documented during the original Batavia shipwreck. Falconer takes this grim story and makes it fascinating, compelling, and a testimony to the highest and lowest human potential.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    Colin Falconer is fast becoming a favorite of mine. Isabella: Braveheart was what introduced me to Colin Falconer. The first chapter is enough to grab ones attention, as it takes place in present day, then jumps back to 1629 where the story unfolds. I have never heard of the shipwreck of the Utrecht which took place off the coast of Australia. But as soon as I was finished reading I googled what I could to learn more. Here is a story of total depravity and inhumanity that I could not turn away fro Colin Falconer is fast becoming a favorite of mine. Isabella: Braveheart was what introduced me to Colin Falconer. The first chapter is enough to grab ones attention, as it takes place in present day, then jumps back to 1629 where the story unfolds. I have never heard of the shipwreck of the Utrecht which took place off the coast of Australia. But as soon as I was finished reading I googled what I could to learn more. Here is a story of total depravity and inhumanity that I could not turn away from. Rich in detail that had me totally engrossed in this story. The author has a definite talent for writing scenes that were authentic but not over the top. I got the picture loud and clear about this wreck. I will not go into details about the chain of events that lead to this disaster. But I was say that this is a story of greed, jealousy, lust, murder and total lack of compassion for others (amongst other things too). There is l a light that does shine with Michiel van Ttexel and his feelings for Cornelia Noorstrandt. How to find the strength to carry on when so much is going on around you. Written with feeling, compassion and well researched this book will appeal to lovers of nautical books, historical fiction and those that just want a really good book to read. Still, he had learned in battle that you never knew when things would turn; you think it's all over for you, then something turns up to save your skin. You had to keep going, that was the mark of a man's strength.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot.... Colin Falconer's East India was an interesting read for me. Past experience being what it is, I was immediately skeptical of the piece, but the praise of my fellow reviewers roused a curiosity I couldn't well ignore. To get right to the point, I liked East India a lot more than I'd expected. The shipwreck was a perfect platform for Falconer to weave a gritty tale of doubt, danger and desperation. I enjoyed the romantic aspec Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot.... Colin Falconer's East India was an interesting read for me. Past experience being what it is, I was immediately skeptical of the piece, but the praise of my fellow reviewers roused a curiosity I couldn't well ignore. To get right to the point, I liked East India a lot more than I'd expected. The shipwreck was a perfect platform for Falconer to weave a gritty tale of doubt, danger and desperation. I enjoyed the romantic aspect between Cornelia and Michiel, but I was perversely enchanted with the darker elements of the plot. Falconer holds nothing back and in this context, I felt the explicitness of his descriptions really worked in his favor and conveyed a very realistic sense of the crisis his characters are meant to experience over the course of the novel. What I liked most, however, were the number of underlying themes and abstract concepts the Falconer worked into the story. Beneath the surface, East India is a phenomenal exploration of social interaction and what happens when we are forced to struggle for limited resources. I don't mean to sound pedantic in my assessment, this is fiction after all, but from a behavioral and psychological standpoint I was fascinated at how Falconer depicted that degeneration within the narrative. A fast-paced adventure, East India is difficult to put down. A brilliant choice for fans of 17th century historicals and drama on the high seas.

  7. 5 out of 5

    L F

    Adventure on the historical high seas. The Company owns everyone, their property is held above all else. The East India's premier boat becomes shipwrecked on a reef, where society turns to the primeval. It shows how quickly society can breakdown. Each of the characters show the different directions a personality can go when under severe circumstances. Will good ultimately win over evil? Will the overrated commander be able to find the ship and island in time to save the stranded. A wonderful his Adventure on the historical high seas. The Company owns everyone, their property is held above all else. The East India's premier boat becomes shipwrecked on a reef, where society turns to the primeval. It shows how quickly society can breakdown. Each of the characters show the different directions a personality can go when under severe circumstances. Will good ultimately win over evil? Will the overrated commander be able to find the ship and island in time to save the stranded. A wonderful historical romance.

  8. 4 out of 5

    AdiTurbo

    Based on the true historical event of the Batavia drowning, this novel takes the reader into a bottomless pit of despair and horror experienced by the survivors of a Dutch ship headed to the East Indies. The problems on the ship start as soon as it leaves the dock. The admiral is weak and sickly. Other men on the ship, ambitious and blood-thirsty, get more and more difficult to master and control as time goes by. They are lustful for the goods, money and women on board, and plan to take the ship Based on the true historical event of the Batavia drowning, this novel takes the reader into a bottomless pit of despair and horror experienced by the survivors of a Dutch ship headed to the East Indies. The problems on the ship start as soon as it leaves the dock. The admiral is weak and sickly. Other men on the ship, ambitious and blood-thirsty, get more and more difficult to master and control as time goes by. They are lustful for the goods, money and women on board, and plan to take the ship by force when an error of judgment by the ship's navigator causes it to hit the rocks next to a group of small islands. All hell breaks loose then when the admiral leaves the survivors to go look for help. The undermerchant on the ship, a dangerous psychopath, takes over and turns the islands into his own little dark kingdom. He has men, women and children brutally murdered and abused in different ways. This part becomes harder and harder to read as things deteriorate rapidly. However, even in the darkest moments there is some effort to maintain humanity by a few survivors. There is some love, morality and friendship found here and there. The historical and geographical background is fascinating and there is much suspense throughout the book. It is written with great flair and feels like the writer enjoyed his work. The pace is fast and the characters well developed. A worthy historical fiction read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    copy received from: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review I’ve never read Collin Falconer before so I had no idea what to expect! Wow! This was an unexpected adventure with twists and turns. On its maiden voyage from Holland to Batavia, the East India Company sends Utrecht on a five month journey. Cornelia Noorstrandt is one of the passengers on the ship. She is on her way to meet her husband that is already in Batavia. It’s obvious from the first couple of pages that she is copy received from: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review I’ve never read Collin Falconer before so I had no idea what to expect! Wow! This was an unexpected adventure with twists and turns. On its maiden voyage from Holland to Batavia, the East India Company sends Utrecht on a five month journey. Cornelia Noorstrandt is one of the passengers on the ship. She is on her way to meet her husband that is already in Batavia. It’s obvious from the first couple of pages that she is not madly in love with her husband. Since she is the only person on the ship that is of “upper class” she often finds herself very lonely. Cornelia, although wealthy now, came from humble beginnings. Other noteworthy characters are Ambroise Secor who is the captain of the ship and who develops a friendship with Cornelia. Jacob Schellinger and Christian van Sant are second in command. Then, my favorite, Michael van Texel. Michael is a soldier on his way to Batavia also. He does not share the same ranks as the before mentioned but plays a very pivotal role in the story. Although he is not of the same ranking as the captain or Cornelia he does share conversations with her and often seeks her out. While on the ship, life is very rough and I thought that the author really portrayed the discomfort and limited provisions that were available. The maggot covered meat made my stomach turn but made the uneasy feeling of life on the ship more credible. Cornelia is a wealthy lady but life on the ship is not safe for her and she suffers from a horrible “occurrence.” The divisions of the social classes are evident aboard the ship and atrocities happen even in the middle of the sea. Although life on the ship is horrible, when they become “lost” life becomes hell for everyone. The turn of events was so quick and so much happened I had to take a breath! The story quickly becomes a “Lord of the Flies” as everyone aboard the Utrecht is shipwrecked (Everyone that survived that is) they start to fight for survival. This fight for survival turns to deprivation for some of these characters. The cruelty and viciousness of some of the characters was shocking. Although there are many different parts of the story, my favorite was Michael and Cornelia. Both of them were such valiant, kind and genuinely good people in the middle of what at times was hell. I couldn’t put this book down and there are scenes that are imprinted in my brain. Falconer is a fantastic storyteller. He pushed so many boundaries and shocked me! Although a very intense book I really enjoyed it. His clever lines took away some of the tension from the story, “he’d rather lick arse than eat cheese” made me laugh. My all time favorite “ even if God forsakes you, I will find you.” Amazing!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mirella

    In the novel, EAST INDIA, internationally bestselling author, Colin Falconer, has written a fictionalized accounting of a terrible tale of depravity and barbarity that is known the world over – that of the shipwreck Batavia in 1629 that became one of the most incredible stories of shipwreck ever recorded and one of the bloodiest chapters in Australia's history. The plight of the women is especially tragic and horrendous. Some survivors of the shipwreck made it to some tiny islands that lacked wat In the novel, EAST INDIA, internationally bestselling author, Colin Falconer, has written a fictionalized accounting of a terrible tale of depravity and barbarity that is known the world over – that of the shipwreck Batavia in 1629 that became one of the most incredible stories of shipwreck ever recorded and one of the bloodiest chapters in Australia's history. The plight of the women is especially tragic and horrendous. Some survivors of the shipwreck made it to some tiny islands that lacked water and food and they suffered dehydration, starvation, and heat illness. Others remained on the ship and were either washed off deck, drowned when the ship collapsed, or failed trying to swim to the islands. 48 people packed into a longboat set off to make a 2000 journey to Batavia to get help. For the people left on the islands, they would face bloodshed, rape, and murder at the hand of the madman and his group of henchmen who seized control. The group began to systematically reduce the survivors to preserve food and water. First, they exiled groups of people to various nearby islands without sufficient food or water, hoping they would perish. When that failed, the group of murderers began drowning people in the ocean. One group of people on one of the islands who had survived on seals, seal’s blood, and urine, became the victims of a secret slaughter by these henchmen. Soon the murders were no longer conducted in secret. One boy was beheaded for sport, and the women were herded into a tent and used as sex slaves. With his usual style of sharp, succinct writing, Colin Falconer captured the facts of this dreadful drama, skilfully mixed it with a little fiction, and created a powerfully passionate novel that shocked me and held me in its grip! In fact, I read the entire book in one sitting, unable to stop reading. The plight of the survivors at the hands of a few controlling madmen is one that I will not soon forget, and Falconer tells it like it is with blunt honesty and intense narrative. I have long been a fan and follower of Colin Falconer. I found this novel as spell-binding, expertly written, and compelling as all his others. His tales offer something of interest to both men and women. With poignant characterization, dazzling dialogue, and impeccable research, there is something for everyone that will please. I can’t say enough about this book. Although it is a dark tale, there is a bit of a love story within that lends the tale some closure so the reader is left with a feeling of satisfaction! Nothing short of brilliant, Colin! Can’t wait for your next book on Cleopatra!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I feel by far this book's strongest point is its story. It's incredible the amount of emotion and drama Colin has been able to plug into this work. There's betrayal, murder, horror, survival, heroism, insanity, the extremes of human behavior, and a dash of romance for flavor. The author chose the shipwreck of the Batavia well as a backdrop for his dramatization. He's able to bring to life the extremes these people experienced as they tried to survive being wrecked on rocky, barren islands, all w I feel by far this book's strongest point is its story. It's incredible the amount of emotion and drama Colin has been able to plug into this work. There's betrayal, murder, horror, survival, heroism, insanity, the extremes of human behavior, and a dash of romance for flavor. The author chose the shipwreck of the Batavia well as a backdrop for his dramatization. He's able to bring to life the extremes these people experienced as they tried to survive being wrecked on rocky, barren islands, all while being under the sway of a madman bent on creating his own perfect, little world. The characters were also very vibrant in this novel. From the main character Cornelia to the minor Hendrika, from wily Christiaan to heroic Michiel, everyone has their own distinct characterizations and motivations. Everyone was nuanced and three-dimensional to a degree that is not all that common in every book I read. I think I was especially fascinated with Christiaan. He starts the novel sounding decent and not that bad of an individual, if a bit cunning and a bit of a plotter. To see his descent into the madman and coward he becomes was an incredible journey in characterization and fascination. I was held spellbound like his subjects at how depraved he became, yet how bewitching he sounded. My one disappointment was the lack of anything that could really be justifiably called a romance. Yes, there were some tender feelings and moments between Cornelia and Michiel, hence the "dash of romance" comment. However, for a good chunk of the book, Michiel isn't even talked about, either exiled to the long island or just not there. For a book description that pushes the romantic elements of the book so hard (I mean, really? Jack and Rose?!), I found the actual substance of said romance very lacking. Almost to the degree that I would completely disregard this description altogether. *sigh* And I was actually looking forward to that element... Even though that romance was lacking, strong characterization and an incredible story of survival, rescue, and madness made up for it. If you're looking for an all encompassing romance, look elsewhere. However, if you're looking for rock solid story-telling with a gripping plot and characters that shine, look no further. Colin has you well in hand. Note: Book received via GoodReads FirstReads program for free in exchange for honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hallie Szott

    http://pagebypagebookbybook.blogspot.... Colin Falconer’s East India fictionalizes the history of the Batavia shipwreck in 1629, a piece of history I had never known before this novel, and brings it to life in fascinating, horrifying and vivid detail. With all his well-crafted and distinct characters, Falconer believably and authentically explores the whole gamut of human depravity. Manipulation, greed, lust, rape, murder, betrayal… It’s all right there. Appalled yet captivated, I couldn’t seem t http://pagebypagebookbybook.blogspot.... Colin Falconer’s East India fictionalizes the history of the Batavia shipwreck in 1629, a piece of history I had never known before this novel, and brings it to life in fascinating, horrifying and vivid detail. With all his well-crafted and distinct characters, Falconer believably and authentically explores the whole gamut of human depravity. Manipulation, greed, lust, rape, murder, betrayal… It’s all right there. Appalled yet captivated, I couldn’t seem to stop reading this dark, intense story. I should mention that the back-of-the-book summary is misleading. Before starting to read, I assumed the plot would focus on the developing romance between Cornelia and Michiel after the shipwreck. However, this is not entirely the case, since the shipwreck does not occur until a third of the way into the narrative. Of course, the preceding build-up is important and explanatory, and told from multiple perspectives, it sets the scene well for the ensuing conflict. But for most of the novel, Michiel makes very few appearances (compared to other characters) and when he finally begins interacting with Cornelia, their romance covers a few pages at most. So, I would not recommend East India to readers looking primarily for a romance – but for lovers of historical fiction, it’s sure to be an intriguing and thrilling read. Thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, I received a copy of East India and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction on the high seas! The living conditions on an ill-fated trade ship during the early 1600s were horrendous, and the descriptive realism often made me nauseous. Yes, it is technically a love story, but there is much more mayhem, misfortune and murder than mushiness. In my opinion, it was interesting and obviously thoroughly researched yet just an okay read. *I received this free copy in return for an honest review, and opinions are mine alone. Full r Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction on the high seas! The living conditions on an ill-fated trade ship during the early 1600s were horrendous, and the descriptive realism often made me nauseous. Yes, it is technically a love story, but there is much more mayhem, misfortune and murder than mushiness. In my opinion, it was interesting and obviously thoroughly researched yet just an okay read. *I received this free copy in return for an honest review, and opinions are mine alone. Full review: http://casualreadersbookclub.blogspot...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Janice Alter

    I did not finish this book

  15. 5 out of 5

    Irene Adam

    I received a free advance e-copy of this book and have chosen to write an honest and unbiased review. I have no personal affiliation with the author. Wow! Another amazing piece of historical fiction by Colin Falconer. This book is based on the actual shipwreck of the Batavia. We see horror, murder, madness, survival and all sides of human behavior in those who are shipwrecked. There is a complete personality turnaround in some of the survivors of the shipwrecked. Finding water and surviving the I received a free advance e-copy of this book and have chosen to write an honest and unbiased review. I have no personal affiliation with the author. Wow! Another amazing piece of historical fiction by Colin Falconer. This book is based on the actual shipwreck of the Batavia. We see horror, murder, madness, survival and all sides of human behavior in those who are shipwrecked. There is a complete personality turnaround in some of the survivors of the shipwrecked. Finding water and surviving the elements is not their main concern but surviving each other is. Colin Falconer is a true storyteller and one of my all time favorite authors. ‘East India’ is an incredible story of survival that is well worth the read. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Studebhawk

    A Wreck in the Indies In a story of 17th-century sailing vessels sailing missions of discovery in the Indies, all of the hardships of long voyages in wooden ships are detailed here in all of its suffering and hunger. With the poor quality food, heat and occasional foul weather, the sailing voyages of these vessels were hard enough even with the hazards of navigation in unknown waters with poor charts. The stories of the Asia trading companies, the East India Company, in particular, are well do A Wreck in the Indies In a story of 17th-century sailing vessels sailing missions of discovery in the Indies, all of the hardships of long voyages in wooden ships are detailed here in all of its suffering and hunger. With the poor quality food, heat and occasional foul weather, the sailing voyages of these vessels were hard enough even with the hazards of navigation in unknown waters with poor charts. The stories of the Asia trading companies, the East India Company, in particular, are well documented This story is full of action with plenty of the strengths and weaknesses of man in full measure. The influence of the East India Company was both strategic and political. Great wealth was both won and lost, the lives of the native people of the area were impacted for generations. Though this is a work of fiction based loosely on a real event, East India by Colin Falconer is a compelling story. It is a powerful narrative filled with suspense and horror and sorrow. Colin Falconer provides everything you want in a great adventure story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michele Zito

    I had never read anything by Mr. Falconer , but I will now. I enjoyed this book so much. The mixture of facts and fiction blended in so well. The description of the behavior of men more or less stranded on a ship for so many months is so vivid and realistic considering the petty squabbles to begin and then the hunger , lust and boredom that ensue for being so confined on a crammed vessel. This book shows how humans reacted in 1629 much like today when people are caught in desperate situations an I had never read anything by Mr. Falconer , but I will now. I enjoyed this book so much. The mixture of facts and fiction blended in so well. The description of the behavior of men more or less stranded on a ship for so many months is so vivid and realistic considering the petty squabbles to begin and then the hunger , lust and boredom that ensue for being so confined on a crammed vessel. This book shows how humans reacted in 1629 much like today when people are caught in desperate situations and also the evil deeds that men still do today. Michele Zito.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    Lord of the Flies prequel Like Lord of the Flies, this book tells the story of the depravity that can infest mankind when they find themselves abandoned without hope. Unlike the William Golding's book, Colin Falconer brings in a beautiful but deeply unhappy woman who finds love only to lose it far too quickly.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nadine Wiseman

    Shipwreck, mutiny, good and evil Another gripping historical tale based on a true story. Savagery grips some of the survivors of a shipwreck stranded on a small group of islands in a coral reef off the Australian coast. Vividly drawn characters, seething conflict and yet another superb page turner from Colin Falconer.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sekhar N Banerjee

    Awful I do not know how these books get published. It was a nightmare - the plot is banal and to a great extent amateurish. My caution to would be readers - do not make the same mistake as I did, do not buy the book

  21. 4 out of 5

    Beth Brooks

    Some of the best historical fiction I've read in a long time! Thrillingly written historical fiction! A page-turner of the first order. Can't believe I'm actually going to say, "I couldn't put it down!"

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    One of my new favorite writers! I read the Silk Road by Falconer and I couldn't put it down. The minute it was done I wanted more and that is when I found Easy India. Again, I devoured it and again, I want more!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Daleen Loest

    It’s a great retelling of horrific events. Just a minor annoyance was the occasional mistranslation of Dutch. The author for instance indicates that ‘verdedigers’ means ‘diggers’, when it actually means ‘defenders’.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ivana Lodovici

    Boring I kept on reading hoping something happened. I found the descriptions of the shipwreck typical and not very exciting. I hopped to start liking it so I continued reading but half way through I had to put it down.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alan Porter

    Highly recommended....

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chucho

    Loosely based on real events.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lanise

    I received a free copy of East India from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for a honest review. When I accepted this book, I was not familiar with the author. And while I hoped the book would be good, I did not expect the story to be so fascinating. From page one, this historical fiction romance novel begins at an excavation in the present day with the mystery of one man's bones. The story then plummets into the past aboard the Utrecht in 1628. Here we meet Cornelia Noorstrandt, I received a free copy of East India from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for a honest review. When I accepted this book, I was not familiar with the author. And while I hoped the book would be good, I did not expect the story to be so fascinating. From page one, this historical fiction romance novel begins at an excavation in the present day with the mystery of one man's bones. The story then plummets into the past aboard the Utrecht in 1628. Here we meet Cornelia Noorstrandt, an unhappily wedded woman traveling on a ship that's mostly full of men watching her in every way that's improper. Commandeur Ambroise Secor, a sergeant of the VOC, comes to her rescue in keeping the others at bay only to find himself attracted to Cornelia, a woman he can never have. And Michiel Van Texel is in the same boat as he is just happy to catch a glimpse of the lovely lady. Many men aboard the packed ship take an interest in Cornelia but find her status too lofty for their liking. One such man is the skipper who thinks she is too high and mighty, and even Cornelia's maid, Sara, plays treacherously behind her back. While the undermerchant, Christiaan van Sant, watches everything unfold with a smirk on his lips and a twisted bit of information for anyone who listens as the ship travels from Holland to the Indies. Deception, treachery, jealousy, and hate erupts and then tragedy unfolds as the great ship the Utrecht crashes on the rocks, leaving those who survive to fight to stay alive amid rape and murder. Unfortunately, many suffer and lose their lives as Christiaan becomes a madman twisted with power. I love the way the story progresses and reveals the growth and even misfortune of such characters. Especially Cornelia and Michiel who were two people that otherwise would never cross paths socially or romantically yet have a chance to in the face of extraordinary circumstances. This story moves along at a good pace, and the writing style is impressive as the text flows smoothly in describing such a vivid tale. Even though the book is told from multiple points of view, several characters even within some chapters, the story is never garbled or lost in translation. Each speaker has their own distinctive voice and it's easy to recognize each character's thoughts, words, and know the reasons for their actions, no matter how kindhearted or devilish they might be. Most of all, I enjoyed the conversations between characters. All of their speech feels so life-like and real for the time period that I forgot I was reading a novel instead of being right in the midst of a rocky ship or stranded with the survivors. Overall, the story's ending is a bit sad, but I am still as satisfied from this read. I will definitely look forward to future books from Falconer. My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Riley

    Colin Falconer's story was inspired by a real shipwreck. East India is the tale of men revealing the true extent of their wickedness and degeneracy when faced with the challenge of surviving in conditions they were not prepared to face. Mr. Falconer's portrayal of life on board a ship is gritty and uncomfortable. On a ship crewed by malcontents and would be mutineers, the passengers are blissfully unaware of their precarious situation. But they are one shipwreck away from becoming enlightened. S Colin Falconer's story was inspired by a real shipwreck. East India is the tale of men revealing the true extent of their wickedness and degeneracy when faced with the challenge of surviving in conditions they were not prepared to face. Mr. Falconer's portrayal of life on board a ship is gritty and uncomfortable. On a ship crewed by malcontents and would be mutineers, the passengers are blissfully unaware of their precarious situation. But they are one shipwreck away from becoming enlightened. Several points of view are presented, so the reader gets an idea of the motivation of the key players. Sometimes the pov jumped too quickly or it was not immediately clear who's thoughts were being presented. But persistence paid off and clarity won out. After the shipwreck, there is a quick descent into depravity by the mutineers. This part was hard to read. Reading what happened to the innocent men and women was dispiriting. I put the book away for a week while I was on vacation so as not to ruin my fun. I have to say that I did not like this book. I decided to read it based on the book blurb which led me to believe it was a love story. In fact, in the author's notes, Mr. Falconer says 'my story is about the love between a man and a woman who would not otherwise had ever been in the same room together...'. I found the love story aspect of the book to be minor compared to the stories of the mutineers, the shipwreck, survival and eventual rescue. Despite my feelings, I do think East India is a well told story and anyone interested in maritime history would probably be interested in this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    A bloody stain on Australian history is interpreted through the keen eye, and creativity only Colin Falconer possesses. The shipwreck of Batavia in 1629 is factionalized in all its savagery creating one riveting page turner. East India is not only a story of survival, it contains mutiny, rape, murder, madness, utter mayhem and rescue amongst superb characterization and a firm, gripping narrative. No surprise women during this time and event suffered the unimaginable. Alliances are formed as inter A bloody stain on Australian history is interpreted through the keen eye, and creativity only Colin Falconer possesses. The shipwreck of Batavia in 1629 is factionalized in all its savagery creating one riveting page turner. East India is not only a story of survival, it contains mutiny, rape, murder, madness, utter mayhem and rescue amongst superb characterization and a firm, gripping narrative. No surprise women during this time and event suffered the unimaginable. Alliances are formed as inter battles ensue. You feel the sufferings right along with the characters, you experience the harsh elements, you fight for survival and hope to face the next day all by the mighty pen in Falconer’s hand. Surviving on seals, consuming urine to hydrate, women used as sex salves, yes every page sucks the reader into the abyss, leaving you to yearn the final outcome. Full of tension, this is a consuming read and absolutely unforgettable. Falconer is a visionary, he spins an enthralling yarn leaving the reader captivated. His writing style is sharp creating a spellbinding ambiance. Masterfully merging a brutal historical event with a high dose of pure fiction outstandingly presented. Well researched, a narrative with a little bit of everything, with plenty of angst and action. East India is a story for a wide ranging audience, highly recommend as well as past and future works from the uber talented Colin Falconer. East India would translate well to the silver screen…fingers crossed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This was my first book by the author and I have to say that I was impressed enough that I would certainly read his future releases. I am probably in the minority but I did not actually like Cornelia. She was, frankly, a nasty, horrible woman who reminded me of a certain hotel heiress and I was actually a little bit disappointed when she did not suffer the same fate as many of her shipmates. Alas, she survived long enough to fall in love with a lowly soldier (who could have done much better for hi This was my first book by the author and I have to say that I was impressed enough that I would certainly read his future releases. I am probably in the minority but I did not actually like Cornelia. She was, frankly, a nasty, horrible woman who reminded me of a certain hotel heiress and I was actually a little bit disappointed when she did not suffer the same fate as many of her shipmates. Alas, she survived long enough to fall in love with a lowly soldier (who could have done much better for himself than the snotty Cornelia). I really cannot imagine how one could possibly compare their "love" to Jack and Rose on the Titanic. The characters were incredibly well written - otherwise I would never been able to dislike Cornelia quite so much. I really liked how the author made them feel so genuine. Christiaan's development as a character was dealt with beautifully and it just felt so real. The behavior of the castaways was even more spine chilling in that it is based on real events. With his admirable writing skills the author transports you back into the horror of the situation and holds you there, breathless, until the final page. I definitely recommend this to historical fiction fans who are sure to appreciate the level of detail and historical accuracy provided.

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