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A Christmas Garland Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
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This year's book - A Christmas Garland - takes us to 1857 India. It is a few days before Christmas, but things are not peaceful in Cawnpore. The Indians are rebelling against the rule of the East India Company. Lieutenant Victor Narraway is a young soldier, only nineteen, but with a year in India under his belt already. When his superior officer calls him in to tell him he must defend a medical orderly accused of murder he is stunned - he has no formal law training at all. But the orderly swears he is innocent. Can Narraway save him from the hangman's noose in the few days he's been given?
Make yourself a pot of tea, turn on your reading lamp and settle in for another deliciously atmospheric tale from Perry. Her detailed descriptions bring historic events and settings to life. Narraway is a character I recognize from the Thomas Pitt mystery series. It was a treat to see him at a much earlier stage of his life. The opposing counsel is just as well drawn, albeit it in a negative light. The language and tone of the time are captured in Perry's dialogue - the horrors of war, the sense of honour and duty.
And into this slim volume, Perry manages to weave together a good mystery (I missed the conflicting clue) with a sense of hope and the human spirit. Reading Perry's annual Christmas book has become a tradition for me. And for those readers who haven't sampled Perry's writing yet, it's a great introduction.
Four Feathers came to mind because it is also a tale of British soldiers in a hostile land--the Sudan, in this case--where they are not wanted and are badly outnumbered by the natives, who want nothing more than to kill them all and take back their country. The soldiers in Christmas Garland also wonder why they are here in this alien land "for queen and country." There have been horrible atrocities including the savage deaths of the women and children that the soldiers and the men of the East Indian Company have brought with them.
Lieutenant Narraway must defend Corporal John Tallis, a medical orderly who is accused of freeing a Sikh prisoner; the prisoner killed his guard, also a Sikh, and fled to the rebels to betray a patrol of which he had inside knowledge. Nine of the ten in the patrol died. Tallis has no motive. He is only on trial because he is the last man standing, so to speak. He was alone and unseen at the time of the escape, so he had no provable alibi.Read more ›
The time is 1857 during the aftermath of the uprising in India against British rule. Specifically the story takes place at Cawnpore (now named Kanpur) and the horrible massacre of the British citizens there at a place named Bibighar Gardens or "The Well," where upwards to 120 women and children were hacked to death during that atrocity. An Indian prisoner has escaped and caused the death of a number of other British soldiers and during the escape the guard was brutally murdered. A young British medic has been accused of the crime and it is pretty much a sure thing that he did it...an open and shut case....guilty, guilty, guilty.
A young British Lieutenant, Victor Norway is assigned the task of defending this guilty suspect - defending in indefensible so to speak. The story follows Norway's investigation including the courtroom drama.
Now Anne Perry is obviously a good writer and a wonderful story teller. I was struck first by the fact that she had her historical facts lined up like ducks. I am somewhat familiar with this period of time in British ruled India and Perry's presentation of time, place, attitude and events are all spot on. For a historical novel this is about as good as it gets.
It will help the reader understand the story better if they are somewhat familiar with this rebellion and in particular the siege of Cawnpore. Tensions were quite high at that time on both sides - the British and the native Sepoy soldiers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wanted to read something out of my comfort zone. After the first chapter I found myself being sucked in. the plot was interesting it kept my interest until the end. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tica
This is the first of Anne Perry's "Christmas novels" that I have read, and it will not be the last. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Carl E. Ahlm
It shows how even during war the feelings of justice and truth can create Christmas joy, love, and understanding of men.Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
As always Anne Perry keeps. You riveted from beginning to end. Surprising finish. I didn't see it coming. Thanks, Anne, for another spellbinding read!!Published 9 months ago by Joan
TThe review for The Christmas Garland was submitted by error on the page for A Christmas Hope.Published 11 months ago by sylvanlady
This story is a quick read that Offers us hope during Christmas. I especially enjoyed the mystery and tugs on the heart. Happy ending!Published 13 months ago by Christy
I liked the history and careful research into the fighting in India and the effect it had on the minds and hearts of those involved. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Judith Ann