Shadowed in Silk, by Christine Lindsay (WhiteFire Publishing, 2011)
It’s December, 1918. The war in Europe is over, and Abby Fraser sails from England to India to join her officer husband, Nick. She hasn’t seen him in four years, and he’s never met their son, Cam.
The ship docks in Bombay, but Nick isn’t there to meet them. Major Geoff Richards took a fancy to young Cam on the ship and his proper British chivalry insists he assist the stranded mother and son on the train ride to reach their home.
Geoff introduces Abby to Miriam, an Indian Christian whose loving ways make her an immediate friend.
Nick has been happily living the single life and his wife and child cramp his style. His military performance is slipping and his career is at risk. Geoff, himself a widower, keeps an eye on the family in concern but also in the line of duty: he’s been assigned to uncover the Russian spy said to be among the officers.
Shadowed in Silk is a richly evocative tale set in the closing days of British rule in India. We see the elegant lifestyles of the British officers and their wives (flirting is an unofficial sport, but don’t get caught), and the second-class treatment of the Indian nationals.
Geoff is one of the few officers who are not only troubled by the double standards but who see a revolution in the near future if things don’t change. It’s one of the attributes he shares with Abby, who considers all people equal no matter their ethnicity.
There are so many layers to this novel: romance, relationships, culture, faith, social justice, intrigue and danger. And it’s set at a point in history when Ghandi’s teaching of peaceful revolution was gaining influence but others wanted to light a fire.
I’m not familiar with historical novels from this time and place, but Christine Lindsay has done an excellent job of crafting a setting that comes alive to the novice. From what I’ve heard of her research, history buffs will find it accurate. The novel has been compared to M.M. Kaye’s Far Pavilions, which I may now have to check out.
Shadowed in Silk released earlier in 2011 as an ebook (eBookIt! and Amazon) and is now available in print through Amazon and your local bookstores. The unpublished manuscript was a Gold winner of the 2009 ACFW Genesis Contest for Historical. You can read the opening chapter or another sample scene from later in the book.
Christine Lindsay is a Canadian author of Irish descent. You can find her at her website and her blog. If you missed the interview with the characters from Shadowed in Silk, be sure to check it out. These are good fictional people to spend some time with. Here’s the book trailer for Shadowed in Silk.
[Review copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair review.]