The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark. Atria Books, 2011. (Published April 5)
In 1947, Martin Mitchell receives a Fulbright scholarship to document and study the end of British rule in India. His wife, Evie, convinces him to take her and their young son with him. Their marriage hasn’t been the same since he returned from the war, and she hopes India will spark a renewal. As Evie settles into Indian life, she finds her marriage and the country under strain. One day, she finds a packet of letter hidden in their home and becomes fascinated with putting together the pieces of the women’s lives within them. Her search is complicated by the increasingly volatile situation in India and the very real dangers of being foreigners in a country trying to reclaim itself.
The Sandalwood Tree is an amazing story of a country in transition as well as a wonderful love story. Elle Newmark leads the reader back and forth between 1850s colonial India and 1947 as British power in India is crumbling. I was completely entranced by these contrasting images and the story of Felicity Chadwick, one of the women from Evie's letters. The Sandalwood Tree tells a tale of love that is both heartbreaking and hopeful.
If you enjoy historical fiction, I highly recommend The Sandalwood Tree. You will love it.
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The Sandalwood Tree