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The Secret Children Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Limited; Unabridged edition (15 May 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0857359134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857359131
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 4 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Born in the sixties to an Indian mother and an English jazz musician father, Alison McQueen grew up in London and worked in advertising for twenty years before retiring to write full time. In 2006 she was selected from an impressive longlist to join The Writers' Circle - a group of 8 top writers chosen to be groomed by the UK film industry as the new generation of British screenwriters. An award-winning blogger, she is also the author of a series of popular novels (published by Macmillan) under a pseudonym. Alison lives in a quiet English village with her husband and two daughters. Her novel, The Secret Children, was selected by The Independent for their alternative 2012 Booker list.

Product Description

Review

A vivid tale inspired by the author's own family history. (EASY LIVING)

touching novel about the the need to belong and find one's place in the world, and a portrait of a country and a society during a period of upheaval and change. (GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

This is a wonderful novel. A page-turner that is gripping, sensitive and thought-provoking. Highly recommended. (HISTORIAL NOVELS SOCIETY) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

In 1920s India, where do two little girls belong? Born of two cultures, belonging to neither... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By GM Harlow VINE VOICE on 8 Feb. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I could hardly put this book down, as it was so intriguing. It's a sad tale, and paints a portrait of how life was in India before and during its independence and partition.
Particularly, it is the tale of the two girls who were born to an Indian mother and English father in the 1920's. It tells of the problems and the apparent impossibility of them and their parents becoming a family. I would like to think that things are very much different now, although in this case the differences in background and life experience between the man and woman were so vast that they would have no meeting ground except the obvious. The man behaved in a very unfair and unthinking way. When the children were born, he realised his folly, but of course, it was too late. He regretted it for the rest of his life.
The story begins with the daughter of one of the girls at her mother's funeral in England, with her aunt, who is the sister of the deceased. The aunt tells the story for the first time, having promised her sister she never would tell anyone, as long as they both should live.
I cannot really say much more without giving away too much of the content. I think this is really a worthwhile and absorbing book, and appears to reveal a deep understanding of how things were and are. I have never been to India so it is hard for me to know how true it all is, but I feel that it is so, as I have heard tales of India from people who have lived there in the past.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Petra "I love to read" TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Feb. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Secret Sisters by Alison McQueen is a book which I highly recommend to all readers of fiction though this book was based on the authors own family history. James McDonald the sister's father ran a tea plantation but he lived a lonely life so he bought a young beautiful girl as a concubine not realising what he was starting when he did this. He thought he was doing no harm by doing this, he actually thought he was saving this girl from a life of poverty. This started a wonderful story which the author showed the reader not only the beauty of the country but also the beauty of the people who inhabited this land which held so many different customs and beliefs which the author showed the reader so well.
Alison McQueen is an author who clearly loves India and its people and this was clear to the reader through her story telling. She painted a vivid picture using her words and I loved every page which I read. The story she told was a heart wrenching one and she told it sympathetically not only towards the sisters Serafina and Mary but also their mother and the servants that served them daily. I loved the way the author opened up the customs of India and through her words I got a clearer understanding to the ways of the people especially towards their beliefs and fears of the unknown.
With each turn of the page I just wanted happiness for the girls but they spent their lives being controlled by those around them. They accepted each stage of their lives without complaint and did what was asked of them without questioning why they were sent with each new stage of their lives.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Foxley on 30 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I just finished this book after receiving it a few days ago and am utterly blown away. The novel is gripping, emotional and beautifully written. I found myself weeping on more than one occasion at this truly touching story. I was dubious at first, wondering how easy the story would be able to get into with it being set in 1920's India but after the first few chapters I was hooked. The characters' journeys are beautifully intertwined and I felt a deep connection to them by the end of the story. Mary and Serafina's journey is a complex and heartbreaking one and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. A highly recommended read.
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By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sisters Serafina and Mary Macdonald grow up on a beautiful tea plantation managed by their Scottish father James in a lovely rural area of India. They have a comfortable home, a lovely maid called Shurika who tells good stories, and a good deal of freedom. James is prosperous and they want for nothing - except open acknowledgement that they are his children. For Serafina and Mary are illegitimate - their mother is an Indian village girl taken by James to be his mistress until such time as he finds a British wife. And as the girls grow older, the stigma of their illegitimacy becomes more and more apparent. Eventually they are taken from their mother and sent to a convent boarding school - from then on they rarely return home, and after James loses his position (and after World War II and the Indian independence his work in India) they rarely see him either. By the time they are adults James has virtually abandoned them - he agrees to pay for nursing training for both girls, but that is all. Such a childhood and adolescence has a profound - and very different - effect on each sister. Serafina grows up to be ashamed of her past, to be evasive about her birth, to (as a light-skinned Indian) try to pass herself off as a Western girl and to put all her energies into making a prosperous marriage. Mary, gentler and incapable of lying, decides to always be honest about her life - which inevitably causes a rift between the sisters. As they grow older, it seems that their very different attitudes will pull them apart for ever - until Serafina suddenly and urgently needs Mary's help...Read more ›
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