London 1957. In a bid to erase her past and build the family she yearns for, Sophie Schofield accepts a wedding proposal from ambitious British diplomat, Lucien Grainger. When he is posted to New Delhi, into the glittering circle of ex-pat high society, old wounds begin to break open as she is confronted with the memory of her first, forbidden love and its devastating consequences.
The suffocating conformity of diplomatic life soon closes in on her. This is not the India she fell in love with ten years before when her father was a maharaja’s physician, the India of tigers and scorpions and palaces afloat on shimmering lakes; the India that ripped out her heart as Partition tore the country in two, separating her from her one true love. The past haunts her still, the guilt of her actions, the destruction it wreaked upon her fragile parents, and the boy with the tourmaline eyes.
Sophie had never meant to come back, yet the moment she stepped onto India’s burning soil as a newlywed wife, she realised her return was inevitable. And so begins the unravelling of an ill-fated marriage, setting in motion a devastating chain of events that will bring her face to face with a past she tried so desperately to forget, and a future she must fight for.
This book takes place in 1947 and 1957. Sophie first comes with her mother and father to India as her father becomes a doctor for a maharajah. It's a small world, her mother suffocates her, but she finds a friend and her life is changed. India becomes a country and fast forward to 1957. This time Sophie comes to India with her new husband, it's a different country from what she remembers. Still again she feels suffocated.
What to say about this book, what will I remember from it. Well, it made me cry. I can't even remember when a book last made me cry, maybe it happens once a year. It's a good thing, this book truly made me feel. And It's a bad thing, omg it made me cry, it was sad! Why!? It broke my heart.
But before that happened a lot of other things happened. Sophie was kind of quiet, first she followed her parents and then her husband. First in the end she followed herself. This was her journey and I am glad she found courage in the end. True courage.
Some things happen that I wont get into too, spoilers. But now (-57) and then (-47) comes together.
Just as it is Sophie's story it is also a story about India. We see how India is formed, and broken apart. Hindu and Muslim countries, there is kidnappings, rape, murder, families torn apart. It was not a pretty break.
An interesting story.
Paperback, 408 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published April 25th 2013)