The Sandalwood Tree
By Elle Newmark
(Atria Books, Paperback, 9781416590606, 360pp.)
Publication Date: March 13, 2012
List Price: $16.00*
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Nationally bestselling author Elle Newmark’s rich, sweeping novel brings to life two love stories, ninety years apart, set against the backdrop of war-torn India.
1947. India is rife with violence surrounding Britain’s imminent departure. Yet Evie Mitchell is eager to start a new life there with her husband, Martin, a troubled anthropologist, and their young son. It is in their colonial bungalow, hidden behind a brick wall, that Evie makes a startling discovery. Evie finds a packet of old letters that tell a strange and compelling story of love and war involving two young Englishwomen who lived in the same house in 1857. Consumed by their story, she embarks on a mission to uncover what the letters don’t explain. Along the way, she unearths a dark and disturbing secret. Bursting with lavish detail and vivid imagery of Bombay and beyond, The Sandalwood Tree is a powerful story about betrayal, forgiveness, fate, and love.
- The Sandalwood Tree begins with a quote from Adela Winfield: "[D]eath steals everything but our stories." Later Evie paraphrases this as "[A]ll we really have are our stories" (p. 330) What do you think of this? Do you agree? Do you think our stories are the only things that last?