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A tale of two worlds.,
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This review is from: The Secret Children (Kindle Edition)
I found this book both touching and totally absorbing. Alison McQueen's story of two sisters is a series of stark contrasts; rich and poor, white and Indian, privilege and poverty, love and duty. The two girls are the product of a mixed race relationship. They are born into a world controlled by the rules of The Empire and as such, are not accepted. Their father, a well off tea plantation manager, tries to assuage his guilt by ensuring a convent school education. This leaves their mother estranged and alone, seeking solace in alcohol as she descends into a lonely and isolated madness.
I felt sympathy, happiness, anger and frustration at various points through the book. There's an overwhelming sense of sadness that social convention should have such stark and often unforgiving consequences. There's a real sense of place and time; India in the lead up to partition is captured well. The undercurrents of a country moving towards independence are a convincing backdrop to the main story. I enjoyed it and it left me wanting to know more and with food for thought.