The book starts with Evie (Evaleen) and Martin Mitchell, and their son Billy, in the train, on their way to a new place to live. It’s 1947. Martin has come home from the war in Germany and his wartrauma is putting their marriage under great strength.
In India, Evie finds a packet of old letters, hidden behind a brick in the wall of their bungalow. The letters are from Adela Winfield, Yorkshire, England to Felicity Chadwick, her sister in Calcutta, India, about half a century ago, 1854-1855. Evie is getting more and more anxious to know what happened to Adela and Felicity.
We follow the lives of the Mitchell family as well as the lives and times of the two young Englishwomen, Adela and Felicity.
Besides those two storylines the novel is quite informative. It tells about the tensions in India in 1857, the Sepoy Rebellion and the Partition in 1947.
What I really admire in the way Newmark writes is her ability to make you feel like you’re really there, the taste, the smell, the sounds, the atmosphere. I enjoyed reading the book. Both storylines are spellbinding. Although I think the story about Adela and Felicity could have been stronger in the end. I understand why it’s not. Evie just looses interest in the story about Adela because of her own problems. Nevertheless. The story is just as important as the story about Evie and Martin. May be even more if you want to understand the tensions rising in India.
There’s one thing I really hate in books and Newark makes this mistake. Somewhere in the beginning Evie refers to Spike and sighs “if I only knew then…”. Well you don’t and you never will. But, besides that, I recommend reading this book. You’ll like it. I’m sure of it. Four stars!
For those of you who want to know about Elle Newmark, here you can find her official website.