Synopses & Reviews
Catherine MacDonald is astonished to receive from her twin brother--who had reportedly drowned a year earlier, in the monsoon floods of 1821--a kashmiri shawl, a caddy of unusual tea, and a sheaf of traditional bagpipe music in his handwriting. When had he sent it? And why had he retitled a certain tune "Not Yet Drown'd"?Irresistibly, Catherine is drawn to India to search for answers. With her stepdaughter and their two maids--one an enigmatic Hindu, the other a runaway American slave--she follows an obscure trail of tea, opium, and bagpipe music. In the course of their journey they meet botanists, smugglers, engineers, soldiers, and artists--as well as love and betrayal. And as they copy, translate, and finally understand certain Scottish and Indian paintings and music, they discover unsuspected truths about the man they are seeking.This luminous and accomplished romance is the author's first novel.
"Kingman's stately debut historical stars Catherine MacDonald, a young widow in 1822 Edinburgh who is left with the care of Grace, the child from her husband's previous marriage. Just before she is unexpectedly visited by a representative of Grace's uncle, who wishes to take Grace to relatives in Virginia, Catherine receives a mysterious package from her twin brother, who reportedly drowned the previous year in India, containing tea, a fine shawl, and a sheaf of bagpipe music including a tune tantalizingly retitled 'Not Yet Drown'd.' Circumstances seem designed to compel Catherine to India-to protect her stepdaughter and to solve her brother's mystery-accompanied by her Indian and African maids, the latter an escaped slave. The journey has all of the era's fascination with the Orient, with a dash of the romantic, a little deceit and a central puzzle to keep things interesting. Though things move slowly, Kingman renders period detail-tea figures largely-with attentive care." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
'\"Mysterious, intriguing, and just downright absorbing ... smart and full of atmosphere.\"\'\"Boston Globe
A mysterious parcel propels a young Scottish widow on a perilous quest to the far side of the world.
About the Author
Peg Kingmanis the author of Not Yet Drown"dand Original Sins. Formerly a tea merchant and a technical writer, she lives in northern California.