It is the holidays and Hal’s Uncle Nat has asked him to come with him on the California Comet. A classic American train journey from Chicago to San Francisco. As soon as Hal arrives at the great central station in Chicago, complete with a sketchbook, the adventures start to happen. He can’t sketch quick enough …
Tamarind, her father, and new stepmother are on their way to India, for Tamarind to meet and stay with her late mother’s Indian family while her father takes his new wife away on honeymoon. Needless to say, Tamarind isn’t keen on the idea of being dumped with people she’s never met for a whole week. The journey to the family house in the foothills of the Himalayas takes forever and Tamarind is amazed to see such a large house, compared to their small one in Bristol. She knows this is the house where her mother Chinty, grew up, her grandmother, Aunt Simran, Uncle Ruben, and cousins Kamaal, Arjun & Sufia still live there.
Tamarind is hoping to find out about the mother she never knew, but every time she brings the subject up, no one wants to talk about it. Storming off in a huff one day she discovers a hut in the very large garden. She’s been told not to enter but when she finds a hidden key the temptation is too much. So unravels the story of Chinty, Tamarind’s mother who died very young, and the clues that she left behind. Finding the Star of Ishta and a willing little helper called Hanu, the truth is gradually uncovered.
Once again Jasbinder has transported us to another part of the world, with wonderful descriptions of the house and a very large garden with all its secrets along with all the smells & colour of the local food. I also loved the map and the family tree as added extras. Who doesn’t love a map?
If you loved Asha and the Spirit Bird, buy, borrow and read this now, you won’t be disappointed.