The Secret Children by Alison McQueen

The Secret Children by Alison McQueen

Publication details : London : Orion, 2012. Pages : 355 p.

Found on the Adult Fiction shelves at MACQUEEN

Plot Summary : Assam, 1925. James MacDonald is one of the sons of empire who has no yearning for England. Running a tea plantation, he loves India and is reluctant to choose a British bride from the eager crowds sent over. But when he takes a beautiful young Indian woman as his courtesan, he can little imagine what he has begun. So starts the story of Mary and Serafina. Born of two worlds, accepted by neither. Growing up beloved but hidden away, their childhood is one of contradiction. It is only as the shadow of war falls and the turmoil of Indian partition begins, that the girls must face the truth about their parents and begin the search for somewhere to belong. It will be a journey full of forbidden questions, hidden answers, heartbreak and determination. As Serafina and Mary grow into women, they must risk everything and make choices with a legacy that will last a lifetime, and beyond. (From Fantastic Fiction)

Review : In a novel spanning over 80 years of history, Alison McQueen carves out the gripping and heartbreaking story of two young women who must endure prejudice and risk everything if they are to find a place for themselves in a cruel world. McQueen was inspired by her own family history and this gives added impetus, realism and resonance to a tale which is rich in emotion, cultural complexity and India’s vibrant landscape.

Reviewed by : Carolyn

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