Friday, May 20, 2011

Blog Tour/Review: The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark


Welcome to The Sandalwood Tree virtual book tour starring Elle Newmark.  This tour is being sponsored by Tracee at Pump Up Your Book.  Enjoy!


Book Info:

ISBN #: 978-1-4165-9059-0
Page Count: 357
Copyright: 2011
Publisher: Atria Books (a division of Simon & Schuster)


Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

From incredible storyteller and national bestseller Elle Newmark comes a rich, sweeping novel that brings to life two love stories, ninety years apart, set against the backdrop of war-torn India.

Bursting with lavish detail and vivid imagery of Bombay and beyond, The Sandalwood Tree is a powerful story about betrayal, forgiveness, fate, and love.


Mandy's Review:

Cover

I am absolutely infatuated with the colors on the cover of this book.  I find them gorgeous and was drawn to them as soon as I opened up the envelope the book arrived in.

Unless I missed something while reading, I'm not sure how the stairs correlate to the story ... unless it is metaphorical.  Perhaps a woman at a crossroads?  Should she climb the stairs to civility or turn away and head on her own path?  Hhmmm ...

Plot

I've always enjoyed books where there's two different times and plots happening and then they're joined somehow towards the end.  If well written, I find those types of stories intriguing and attention-grabbing.  Does that mean this book was well written?

Oh my gosh, yes!  I loved this book.  There was romance, political/societal tension, war, murder, mystery ... I think this book had every element possibly imaginable.  This may seem like a lot of elements in one story, but the way Elle writes it makes the transitions seamless.

Main Characters

Evie - Wife of Martin; Mother to Billy - She is confused by the change in her husband after the war ended.  She couldn't understand his tendencies toward isolation, brusqueness and volatileness.  She felt like giving up several times, but was taught patience and acceptance by the people of India.

Martin - Husband to Evie; Father to Billy - He is a war veteran who is disappointed with himself and his actions during the war.  He still loves Evie, but is unsure how to show her when he comes home from the war.  He has come to India to write a historical thesis.

Adela - Born in England, she has lead a very sheltered life.  She becomes aware of her sexuality during an innocent encounter with a dear friend.  She leaves England for India with the supposed hope of finding a husband.  She really left to escape her parent's home and to experience true unbridled freedom to live how she chooses.

Felicity - Born in India, Felicity is sent to England to acquire proper schooling.  She lives with her host family and becomes great friends with the family's daughter.  Upon returning to India, Felicity becomes involved in charities and meets a married Indian man whom she falls in love with.

Overall

Elle Newmark has become one of my must-read authors thanks to The Sandalwood Tree.  If you've never read an Elle Newmark novel like me and you enjoy intrigues, history, love stories and an intertwining of two different eras, then I would highly recommend you read The Sandalwood Tree.

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