The Sandalwood Tree by Ellie Newark

This is a riveting novel of a very interesting time period in India. It is 1947, the year of Independence and sadly of partition, the price for British withdrawal from the country after a century of slavery.
Different stories in different time periods converge at a single point.  An American Fulbright scholar, Martin Fulbright, moves with his family to Simla, India during that tumultuous time of the country. His wife, Evie Mitchell, with their young son accompanies him. The once in-love couple is desperately trying to save their marriage. Evie finds a cache of hidden letters in the house they live in and this becomes an interesting turn in her otherwise desolate life. The letters take us back to the lives of two British girlfriends, Adela and Felicity, who lived in India a century earlier when the English ruled India.
Not only is the story of Adela and Felicity touching but it also awakens the voice of Evie, who is trying very hard to save her marriage while becoming lonelier.  These letters are her only solace and she keeps them close to her heart and desperately wishes to unravel the secrets of these two girls thereby making her own life interesting.
Elle Newmark has outdone herself by portraying the history of the region with its nuances intact, for that time period in India was tumultuous and difficult. She has woven a tapestry of good characters in a story against the background of the Independence-Partition era in India.

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