An epic story of wartime, family secrets and forbidden love, set against the stunning exotic backdrop of 1940s Kashmir. Within one exotic land lie the secrets of a lifetime! Newlywed Nerys Watkins leaves rural Wales for the first time to accompany her husband on a missionary posting to India. Deep in the exquisite heart of Kashmir lies the lakeside city of Srinagar, where the British live on carved wooden houseboats and dance, flirt and gossip as if there is no war. But the battles draw closer, and life in Srinagar becomes less frivolous when the men are sent away to fight. Nerys is caught up in a dangerous friendship, and by the time she is reunited with her husband, the innocent Welsh bride has become a different woman. Years later, when Mair Ellis clears out her father's house, she finds an exquisite antique shawl, a lock of child's hair wrapped within its folds. Tracing her grandparents' roots back to Kashmir, Mair embarks on a quest that will change her life forever.
Winner of Romantic Novelists' Association Awards: Epic Romantic Novel 2012.
'A spellbinding tale. Beautifully written, honest and compassionate!a delight from start to finish' Daily Express 'Dramatic, epic storytelling' Woman Home 'Warm and fascinating' Saga Magazine 'An epic tale! A complicated entanglement of family secrets, love during wartime and dangerous liaisons. For fans of Maggie O'Farrell' Red 'A superbly written novel, marvellously descriptive and especially evocative of the war years ... a gorgeous treat' Choice
'The story unravels bewitchingly ... A charmingly written book. Thomas's observations of the complexities of relationships, time and experience are presented with warmth and clarity.' Herald Sun
Rosie Thomas is the author of a number of celebrated novels, including the bestsellers Iris and Ruby, Constance and Lovers and Newcomers. A keen traveller, she has climbed in the Alps and the Himalayas, competed in the Peking to Paris car rally and travelled the Silk Road through Asia. More recently, she has spent time in Kashmir and Ladakh, researching this novel. She lives in London.