Posts Tagged ‘India’

The sandalwood tree by Ellie Newmark

June 15, 2011
This book alternates between two love stories set nearly a century apart, and set against the backdrop of India. The first story is about an academic historian, Martin Mitchell and his wife Evie Mitchell, who, in 1946, travel with their young son to India, so Martin can document the end of British rule. The couple are having martial problems, and hope the move to India will help to solve these. While exploring her new residence, Evie stumbles across some correspondence between Adela Winfield and Felicity Chadwick, two ladies who lived in the same bungalow back in 1858.
You then get taken back to the 1800’s and discover more about Adela and Felicity’s unconvention life of living in India unchaperoned and unmarried. Adela has been exiled to India for a misdemeanor in England, and ordered to find a husband, and joins Felicity, who having been born in India, has returned to her land of birth to escape the conventions of Victorian society. She has subsequently fallen in love with a married Indian sikh.
Returning to Evie’s story, her fascination with the two women grows, and she finds their story helping her to solve issues in her own life.
This is a fascinating and enjoyable read, with two compelling stories which make you want to keep reading to find out what happens next. In the process, you find out interesting facts about life and times in two periods of Indian history, under British rule and during the partition of Pakistan.

Newmark paints a vivid picture, capturing the sight, sounds and smells of India, as well as conveying a great understanding of Indian culture. There are themes of mystery and love, friendship and betrayal.  A really good read!

Monique

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