, March 18, 2009
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In a hospital in New Delhi, forgotten in a small storage room, lies an unclaimed sea chest, locked and untouched, for more than one hundred years old. The sea chest once belonged to a woman named Margaret, one of the first female American doctors. In 1965 another American doctor named Sharif is given the task of searching for Doctor Margaret’s descendents who are believed to be living in Grimsby, Ontario, Canada, and return the trunk to them. But things are never simple, and when the contents of the trunk are revealed, Sharif finds himself embroiled in mystery and intrigue that will propel him into the annals of history. From Russia to India, from Canada to America, from the Charge of the Light Brigade to the Underground railroad, this novel takes the reader on a most unforgettable journey into several sensitive times and places in history.
In this richly researched novel, Waheed Rabbani seamlessly weaves unrelated tidbits of history into one compelling novel. Through the words in Doctor Margaret’s diary, we get a glimpse into a time in America where slavery prevailed and to face inexplicable danger was the only escape. Rabbani knows how to write with detail, painting vivid pictures of items, places, and characters. For anyone interested in these eras of history, then this novel will certainly bring it to life with great vividness.
Dr. Margaret’s Sea Chest is the first book in a trilogy about India’s struggle for freedom – Azadi from the Raj.