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The Secret Children by Alison McQueen

The Secret Children

Literary Fiction   Family Drama   Historical Fiction   Reading Groups   Relationship Stories   
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This evocative, sweeping story of love, loss and family secrets is steeped in the atmosphere of India and full of vivid and fascinating detail. Inspired by the author’s family history, it is a tale of the end of colonial India and two girls born to an unmarried Indian mother and a British father, which in 1925 was a scandal. We think it’s perfect for reading groups.

If you like Alison McQueen you might also like to read books by Rosie Thomas, Priya Basil and Kate Furnivall.


The Secret Children by Alison McQueen

Assam, 1925. James MacDonald is one of the sons of empire who has no yearning for England. Running a tea plantation, he loves India and is reluctant to choose a British bride from the eager crowds sent over. But when he takes a beautiful young Indian woman as his courtesan, he can little imagine what he has begun. So starts the story of Mary and Serafina. Born of two worlds, accepted by neither. Growing up beloved but hidden away, their childhood is one of contradiction. It is only as the shadow of war falls and the turmoil of Indian partition begins, that the girls must face the truth about their parents and begin the search for somewhere to belong. It will be a journey full of forbidden questions, hidden answers, heartbreak and determination. As Serafina and Mary grow into women, they must risk everything and make choices with a legacy that will last a lifetime, and beyond.

About the Author

Alison McQueen

Born to an Indian mother and an English jazz musician father, Alison McQueen grew up in London. After a convent education, Alison worked in advertising for 20 years before retiring to write full time. Her family story is one of the inspirations behind THE SECRET CHILDREN. Alison lives in Northamptonshire with her husband and two daughters.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th August 2012


Alison McQueen

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Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co


448 pages


Literary Fiction
Family Drama
Historical Fiction
Reading Groups
Relationship Stories

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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