Rabbani's writing is evocative in many places and a pleasure to read .... The theme of freedom resonates throughout - India and Canada's pursuit of independence, the American slave trade, and Margaret's personal search for freedom in her life. Well-crafted and first in a planned series- The SanFrancisco/Sacramento Review of BooksIn these post-modern times when novel writers concentrate on churning out books of the pulp fiction variety, undertaking the writing of a trilogy on historic fiction is a gutsy move ... the first book of his proposed trilogy ... involving the struggle that began in 1857 and eventually led to freedom from the Raj.-The Dawn News, Karachi, PakistanFor the past six years Waheed Rabbani has learned a lot about the town he calls home.
Rabbani was a frequent visitor of the heritage archives and read as many local historical books as possible ... The historical fiction novel, recreates life in Grimsby during the 1800s.
The series also takes a look at India's history.
-- From Niagara This Week
From the Author
"The 1857 Indian Sepoy Mutiny was not a part of the 'Great Game'," the opinion of most notable historians was the intriguing premise that led me to start on this Trilogy. This debut novel throws a new spot light on some of the glossed over events, which took place over a century and half ago in the hot and dusty plains of Central India and in the cool arid mountains of Persia, Afghanistan and Central Europe.
This historic fiction mystery novel of love, blood, sweat and tears for India's independence from the British Raj, is set in the three continents of America, Europe and Asia. As the time period spans the 19th and 20th centuries, the events are covered in three volumes, to make this large canvas story painting, interesting and manageable. Volume I, Dr MARGARET'S SEA CHEST, examines the mysteries surrounding the events of the 1857 Rebellion. The sad, but true incident of the sacking of the American Presbyterian Mission at Futtehgurh will also be explored.
The dramatic opening describes an exciting event in 1965: the discovery of over a 100 year old long forgotten sea chest, belonging to a daughter of American Presbyterian missionaries, Doctor Margaret, in the storage room of a hospital in India's bustling metropolis, Delhi.
In 1852, Margaret marries her Canadian Cousin, a cavalry officer, and after spending some time in Upper Canada, follows him to Europe and war in the Crimea. After her husband's death in the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade, she joins her parents in India and takes up residency at a hospital in Delhi. Thereafter, the Rani of the Kingdom of Jhansi hires her. The Indian Sepoys' Rebellion breaks out in 1857.
In 1965, An American, Doctor Sharif, who happens to be visiting that hospital, is entrusted with the mission of finding the lost relatives of the lady doctor and returning the trunk to them. Based on the diaries found in the trunk and recollections of lost relatives of the last Moghul King, Bhadur Shah Zafar, Rani Luxmi, KGB and CIA agents and others, in dusty Indian villages, in posh North American and European mansions, this novel weaves a fine tale of warfare, British-Russian-Indian intrigue and poignant love between interesting characters of that era; all this told in the appealing voices of Doctors Margaret and Sharif who lived over a century apart.
The stirring conclusion of the novel will surely inspire readers to wonder if India's First War of Independence, which led to the start of the toll-road of their human sacrifices for independence; was it not a part of the 'Great Game'?