Historical fiction

In the Mirror, a Peacock Danced by Justine Bothwick

The thing that drew me to this book was its cover. There is a complicated feel to it, and the dual timeline was not war based, making me doubly curious.
The dual timeline swings between 1938 and 1953 and between India and Britain. This provides us with the saga of Florence Hunt, from her eighteenth birthday to how she finds her feet almost two decades later and everything that happens in between. There are some hints about certain events, but they do not actually turn out the way one would expect them to (given the blurb).
I liked both sections individually but felt like having the two carrying equal significance took away from the reading experience. Florence experiences so much that it seems to happen too fast to fit into the time frame of the book. I mention this sometimes, and this is one of those times that a book would have worked better for me if it were published as two separate books instead of a dual timeline.
The secret that we imagine we are inching towards did not pan out the way I thought, so much so that I felt like the build-up was not really required and I would have enjoyed knowing Florence in Agra and then progressing to her life after she leaves India as the following segment.
The supporting cast is interesting, as is her complicated father, who is unlike any character I have ever encountered before in historical fiction. It is a different tale with unexpected scenarios and a surprising ending, and I would recommend it to readers of the historical fiction genre.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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