1930s Darjeeling. The era was an interesting one. The British are firmly in control and intend things to stay
that way. A more liberal minded Britisher would think that giving some kind of liberty to the Indians is on
the cards but the majority do believe, very sincerely that they are a superior race and it is their views and
their opinions that count. The tide is turning however and with Gandhi on the horizon things are never going
to be the same for the British Raj.
In Darjeeling Charlotte returns from her extended boarding school stay in England to find her father dead and
her mother determined to leave India on the next boat. Persuading her mother to stay so that she will get married
and take over the reins of Sundar, the tea property bequeathed to her by her father was no easy task. Charlotte
persuades her mother that she is willing to keep an open mind to marry Andrew, because that was the wish of her
late father who wanted to join the two properties together.
What no one accounted for was that Charlotte though young and very inexperienced in life had a mind of her own and
was determined to make her own way in Darjeeling.
The complications of the newly married Mrs. Banning making a play for Andrew, Charlotte's intended was a spoke in
the wheel for the smooth courtship that was envisaged.
The story meanders through the daily workings of a remote tea plantation with an insular tight knit community, where
gossip is rife because there is nothing else to do. Everyone's business is known if not to the other, by their
servants who pick up all the information very fast. It was a good life, an interesting one but only if you liked
the country, the flora, the fauna and the weather. Otherwise it was devastating with also a major loss of life
especially of children.
This was a very descriptive read one of the history, then the geography of Darjeeling in the 1930s. The description
of the daily lives of both the Britishers and the Indians added a lot of interest to the story.
Sent by Heywood Press for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.