The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark

The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark: It’s 1947, and Evie’s marriage has been failing ever since her husband returned from World War II, shellshocked and haunted. He wins a grant to document the end of the British Raj in India, so he takes his wife and young son to live in the small village of Masoorla. Behind a loose brick in the kitchen, Evie discovers letters between two young women written in the 1850s. Intrigued and perhaps more than a little in need of distraction, she searches out more information about the correspondents and what happened to them. The interwoven tales at the beginning and end of the British Raj fascinated me, as did the candid descriptions of life in colonial India. I loved most of the characters, and while at times the story was just heartbreaking, I had trouble putting it down. I had to know what happened to Adela and Felicity, whether Evie would leave, if Martin would be killed in an uprising. The ending was perhaps a little too tidy, but it was very sweet and satisfying nonetheless. I closed the book with a smile on my face, glad to have read it. That’s really all I can ask for in a novel.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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