I read and reviewed this book as part of the Transworld Book Group.
This is a lovely tale of India around the time of partition in 1947, and also in a time of unrest in 1857. A dual time narrative story, and one in which, unusually for me, I preferred the older story to the more recent one.
Evie Mitchell, her husband, Martin, and their young son, Billy, have moved to India so that he can carry out research. Martin is deeply troubled by his experiences during World War II and their marriage is suffering as a result. When Evie finds letters hidden in the wall of their rented bungalow it takes her on a journey of discovery, both about the events of 1857 and also about her own situation.
The 1857 story was fascinating to me. It involved two friends, Felicity and Adela, women doing their own thing in India. I loved all the letters and journal entries that formed this part of the book, and how that story was tied up in the end. The 1947 story was also good, although Evie's voice, as the narrator, didn't quite ring true, both for the period and also the way she came across sometimes. Billy was also very precocious for a five year old, and I don't think his voice was entirely convincing either. I must admit to being irritated by the number of pet names he had!
I love books set in two different times, where there is a mystery to unravel, and this is one of those books. I felt the setting was very evocative, with the sights, sounds and smells being described very well. I believe the author visited India and saw it first-hand and I think it showed. On the whole this was a good read, and one which kept me interested all the way through.