Review | The Ganesha Keystone | Laurie Maitland

The main character in the Ganesha Keystone is Fran, a twenty something young woman with an interesting family heritage that she decides to explore while on her holiday in India. She meets Lili, an old friend of her Indian grandfather, who in re-counting her life story to Fran explains the circumstances of Fran's family history too. As Fran listens to Lili's story of love, loss and hope she starts to reflect on her own life and questions exactly what love means. I really enjoyed reading this novel which I downloaded as a freebie several weeks ago. The main characters are well developed and as the story unfolds you feel that you are really getting to know them. Not wishing in any way to spoil the story but author Laurie Maitland has created in Fran's boyfriend Simon one of the most obnoxious male characters I have met in a novel for quite a while. The juxtaposition of Lili's story, which is set mainly in the 1940's, with Fran's contemporary life of work, family, friends and Simon produces an interesting tale with plenty of variety and contrast. I thought the writing was strongest in Lili's voice where at times it was sad and emotional and at other times, feisty and direct. Never having visited India myself, I thought the travelogue writing contained some interesting descriptions and explanations about Indian history, life and culture from a tourist perspective that enhanced the novel and made Lili's story more plausible. In a few places there is a need for further proof reading and checking of punctuation but this doesn't in any way spoil the story or detract from one's enjoyment of it. The Ganesha Keystone is a light, easy to read novel that would be ideal for a holiday read whether in India or any other destination. Author Laurie Maitland has also published "Hailstones in May" which sounds like another unusual story and I am looking forward to reading it when time allows.