Meet me in Bombay by @Jenny_Ashcroft : Book Review

Title : Meet me in Bombay

Author : Jenny Ashcroft

Genre : Colonial Fiction ; Historical Fiction ; Romance

Pages : 352

I received this Advance Review Copy by Netgalley and St Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

Thank you Netgalley, St Martin’s Press!!

Meet Me in Bombay by Jenny Ashcroft


It’s New Year’s Eve in Bombay, 1913, and Madeline Bright, new to the sweltering heat and alluring opulence of colonial India, is yearning for all she has left behind in England. Then, at the stroke of midnight, Maddy meets Luke Devereaux, and as the year changes so do both their lives.

Bold and charismatic, Luke opens her eyes to the wonders of Bombay, while Maddy’s beauty and vivacity captures his heart. Only her mother disapproves, preferring the devoted Guy Bowen as a match for her daughter.

But while Maddy and Luke are falling in love, the world is falling apart. World War I is on the horizon, and Luke will be given no choice but to fight. They will be continents apart, separated by danger and devastating loss, but bound by Luke’s promise that they will meet again in Bombay. His only wish is to return to her–but first he must remember who she is . . . 


Meet me in Bombay is a heart-wrenching story of love by Jenny Ashcroft set in the early twentieth century Colonial India, precisely the story is set in the classic vintage Bombay. The book had an outstanding Prologue, which had the capacity to haul the attention of the readers in no time. But in contrary to that, the first few chapters were quite draggy and bit slow, but it eventually picked up pace once the male lead, Luke Devereaux made his massive entrance into the book.

Maddy was a typical English girl who wasn’t very comfortable with her new hot and baking environment of Bombay. But she gets to see the true beauty of Bombay with the help the handsome and mysterious Luke Devereaux. The Bombay of early twentieth century had been vividly brought in front of the readers eyes through Maddy’s. The tightly packed busy streets of Bazaar/market emanating heat, tram rides, New Year parties at Yacht club, ball and dinner at Taj, Gymkhana club, Waji Ali Dargah, British houses at Malabar hill, beach and many such significant places in the book will be engraved on the hearts of the readers through this book. Even the people who haven’t been to Bombay will crave to visit it one day because of the experience they’ve gained through the words written on the book, and obviously I’m one such person.

The writing style of the author was quite complicated, I wouldn’t say it was a smooth read. It would take quite some time to get used to her writing style but the once story reaches its full momentum, it will be very hard to do anything other than reading the book uninterruptedly. The author had beautifully plotted the story on the backdrop of World War 1. The story jumps from Bombay to England to Ypres to Paris and it is spanned out between 1914 to 1921. But the formidable beauty of this book is, despite juggling between difference places, timelines and characters, the plot was straight and crystal clear.

Every page and every word in this book was surged with overflowing emotions. These words will torture the tears out the readers eyes effortlessly. It was recklessly painful and heartbreaking but in a good way, because the readers will be crying throughout the book and that’s most importantly because they care for the characters more than anything else. And that’s the success of this book as well as the author’s. Jenny Ashcroft knows how to write an emotional sequence in an utmost emotional way, she is a pro in this area.

So basically, it is the story of Maddy and Luke who are insanely in love with each other and badly wants to unite no matter what. But everything around them, the near missed chances, the war, people around them and fate only seems make them drift apart even more from one another in the most unimaginable manner. There were like lots of twist and turn, and each one of them was more miserable than the earlier one. Even though it’s painful to read, one couldn’t simple stop themselves from reading it further because all these pains and heartbreaking twists will only make the readers want to endure the pain and reach the end, to know what finally happens.

The character development of Maddy was phenomenal because making a homesick English girl to falling in love with Bombay was smooth and clear. The way she mends her broken relationship with her mother was written down meticulously. Luke’s character was the best, he was a really nice character to read about, he was book perfect in all sense. Especially his attitude and thought process was so gentlemanly. Richard – maddy’s father was a quintessential father, who seeks nothing but the happiness of his daughter and most importantly he let’s her take her own decision and stands by her. He is the kind of father every girl craves for. Della and Peter were the perfect friends and best supporting characters. Role played by Sister Lytton and Dr Arnold was also incredible.

Throughout this book I was kind of having a mixed feelings about these two characters Alice- Maddy’s mother and Guy – a family friend. One moment you will sympathize them and on the other you will literally hate them. But to be very frank, their character was also very significant and important for this book.

The book has a brilliant plot and unbelievable twist. It was very detailed and elaborate. The author has just done an amazing job in plotting out the story. Meet me in Bombay had a strong plot, strong characters, remarkable setting and thunderous twists. On the whole, the book was a well research one, which will hijack you to early twentieth century India. At no point the book felt fake, the incidents and everything about this book felt very very really. And it was possible only because of Jenny Ashcroft’s wonderful research, words, plot and characters. The climax was quite unexpected but it was wonderful.

My Views

Oh my god!!!! I can’t even imagine the pain endured by the lead characters. It was a very emotional read, I was crying non stop throughout the book without even realizing it. Whenever I feel like, ‘okay now the story isn’t that hurting, I can handle it’ the author would come up another dreadful twist and I will be crying once again. I was badly craving for them to be happy and that’s what made me endure all those pain valiantly.

I’m a very strong reader, I don’t usually feel like ruffling to the last page mid way just to know that the book has a good ending but this book was itching me to do that. Though the urge was pretty high I willfully restrained it nevertheless. This book was like test to me as reader on different levels.

One thing everybody could learn from this book is, wars are bad. Wars are bad for all the parties fighting. Nothing good can come out of a war-which draws the blood of innocent people. There is no victory in a war because ultimately both sides are going to lose, no matter what the result be. We don’t how many lives and families a war can affect. Peacefully negotiating any conflict is the only way to reap good and happy results. And this book conveyed it more than one way.

I absolutely loved every inch of this book. This is the second book which made cry very badly after Cecelia Ahern’s PS I Love You. But that book made me choke up to the death only on certain instances but with Meet me in Bombay I was crying for the eighty percent of the book which lead to a very bad headache, which is a record and in that sense this book wins over PS I Love You. I’m amazed, astonished and impressed with the ability of the author to get to me so emotionally. And I love her for that.

I love the way the author had described Bombay, I practically visualized Bombay in a yellowish brown tinted vintage glass. I completely loved the trip to Bombay, this book has taken me on. Even though I reside in India and been to most part of India, I still haven’t got the opportunity to go to Bombay/Mumbai. I generally love stories based on Bombay and my appetite to see all these places in Bombay has increased by gazillion times with this book. I’ll hopefully visit Bombay one day with a copy of this book. Let’s just hope.

My rating for this book would be 4.5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I would recommend this book to all the people who love historical fiction, tragic romance, stories based on colonial India and war and to people who loves Bombay. You have to be really strong to read this book but if you are someone who doesn’t enjoy sad books much, I have a suggestion for you, take it in a slow pace maybe then it will be bearable. But don’t avoid this book just because it’s sad and heart-breaking because it’s totally worth it. Please give this book a try and I’m sure you will not be disappointed. This is one of the best books I have read in this year and ever.

Do read this book without fail and tell me how you feel about it on the comment session below!

Publishing Date : 19 Jan 2021

Happy Reading Folks!!!

~ Meenu

“Meet me in Bombay” by @Jenny_Ashcroft is heart-wrenching story of love set in the Colonial India of early twentieth century at the backdrop of World War 1. Read this remarkable book and experience this heart-breaking-ly beautiful story.


  • Meenu Annadurai

    Meenu Annadurai is the founder & editor of The Nerdy Bookarazzi. Meenu is a Customer Specialist by day and a writer by night. She published her debut novel 'A Place called Home' with Half-Baked Beans which is now available on Amazon. She is insanely addicted to her bookshelf and super possessive about them. She is in a serious relationship with her current Book Boyfriend.

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