Joanne Dobson

2004 Baron Fellow
Berkeley, CA


Research at AAS

The Kashmiri Shawl

An epic journey from the sultry climes of nineteenth-century India to the cosmopolitan chaos of New York City in search of a kidnapped daughter and a lost, forbidden love.

India, 1857: Anna Wheeler Roundtree, missionary wife, flees her husband's pious tyranny. Her timing is bad: the train carrying her to freedom steams into the midst of the brutal Indian Rebellion. Plucked from danger by Ashok Montgomery, a wealthy Anglo-Indian tea planter, she escapes the angry mobs. In the shelter of an isolated mountain cave, Anna, for the first time, learns the true nature of love.

New York City, 1860: Now a successful poet, Anna Wheeler learns that the daughter she bore upon her return from India was not stillborn, as reported, but has been kidnapped. When Anna hears the baby described as "dark-skinned," she knows Ashok, the man she'd left behind in the tumult of the rebellion, is the true father, not her blond, fair-skinned husband. In her own racially inflamed nation, Anna throws respectability to the wind, learns to take risks, break rules, and trust strangers in a determined search for the little girl.

Then a deranged voice arises from her tormented past, making demands that compel her back to India. Anna must confront the evil that set her running in the first place. Will her daring quest for her child, and for the love of her life, end in triumph or in heartbreak?

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