by Dick Parsons
Author House

"Trudi could scarcely believe her ears. What had Mummy said? That she, Trudi, was not her child?"

Gertrude Henrietta, Trudi, has never felt truly loved by her mother, Lady Cynthia. When she finally discovers that her real mother is an ex-governess with whom her father had had an affair, Trudi heads to India to find her. It's 1939, and on the journey to India she meets Richard Hooper, a lieutenant travelling to Colombo to join the H.M.S Strongbow, destroyer. The two fall in love and after landing safely in Allahabad, Trudi and Richard, stationed in Singapore, write to each other and plan to marry. In India, a priest helps Trudi locate her mother's grave. Not only had Ruby Hughes died in childbirth, she had been raped by Trudi's father. Trudi's dismay at this news is temporarily forgotten when she meets up with Richard in Colombo, but her sadness later returns when she gets news that Richard's ship has been sunk. Four months later, Trudi realizes she is pregnant and it couldn't be Richard's baby. Like her mother, she'd conceived while being raped. Trudi rejects the baby and joins the Women's Auxiliary Corps. After a plane accident, she is captured by the Indian National Army along with Yuvraj, the father of her baby. After his execution, Trudi reunites with Richard and must decide if she is going to abandon her baby forever or accept him into her new family.

A well-written story about a young women who finally learns the truth of her identity, only to be faced with some of the same choices as her birth mother. The author writes with clarity and a deep empathy for his protagonist. Part epistolary, much of the plot is delivered through Trudi's diary, which makes her tumultuous story all the more personal. Parsons expertly weaves the history of India's journey to become independent from British rule into the greater plot line. Nazi Germany, Hinduism, and the caste system are also explored. Fans of historical fiction will be thoroughly entertained by this moving novel.

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