Length: 408 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
From the publisher:
This is not the India—or the man—that Sophie fell in love with ten years ago…
Sophie never meant to come back to India, yet when her new, diplomat husband is posted to New Delhi and she steps once again onto the country’s burning soil, she realizes her return was inevitable. As her ill-fated marriage begins to unravel, it sets in motion a devastating chain of events that will bring Sophie face to face with a past she’s tried so desperately to forget, and a future she must fight for.
Here’s what I thought:
Sophie is an English girl who comes to live in India as a child with an abusive mother and a well-meaning but somewhat absent father. Her new life in an Indian palace, where her father is the royal physician, exposes her to a whole new world beyond her previously limited experience. She meets and falls in love with a local boy, Jag, and in her innocence she becomes pregnant with his child.
Fast-forward ten years and Sophie is returning to India as the new wife of an English diplomat. What happens in the intervening ten years is slowly revealed over the course of the book, which switches between the past and the present and alternates between Sophie and Jag’s stories. The book is set against the backdrop of India during different times in history, but in particular during the period surrounding partition. I found this to be interesting because I knew very little about the events of this time, and I find myself left wanting to read more in order to understand it properly. Suffice it to say that there is a lot of political and social turmoil which is echoed in the emotional turmoil that Sophie and Jag experience.
Although the plot can be a bit predictable at times, I found the ending to be well-crafted and satisfying, and I appreciated the fact that McQueen didn’t take the easy way out in telling this story. Recommended.
Thanks so much to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy of this book.
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