Waheed Rabbani was born in India, near Delhi, and was introduced to Victorian, Edwardian and other English novels, at a very young age, in his father’s library. Most of the numerous books had been purchased by his father at ‘garage sales’ held, by departing British civil service officers, towards the end of their terms in India, during the Raj.
Waheed was educated at St. Patrick’s School, Karachi, Pakistan, and graduated from Loughborough University, Leicestershire, England. He received a Master’s degree from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. While an engineer by profession, Waheed’s other love is reading and writing English literature. Waheed also obtained a Certificate in Creative Writing from McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, and embarked on his writing journey.
Waheed and his wife, Alexandra, are now settled on the shores of Lake Ontario, in the historic town of Grimsby.
More information is available at Waheed's website: http://www.tiny.cc/wrabbani
“An engaging continuation of a historically accurate, emotionally riveting trilogy.”
– Kirkus Reviews
The second book Rabbani’s (Doctor Margaret’s Sea Chest, 2014) Azadi series follows the adventures and tribulations of an American female doctor in 1850s India.
Fresh from Johns Hopkins in North America, Walli started practicing at a hospital in Delhi. He was asked to return a sea chest found in the basement of the Delhi hospital that belonged to a pioneering 19th-century American female doctor named Margaret Wallace. Margaret was remarkable, in part, because so few Americans, let alone women, ventured into India at that time to practice medicine. Before returning the sea chest to Margaret’s living relatives, Walli and his family opened it to discover a host of artifacts, including Margaret’s diaries. The first book of the series introduced the extensive cast, including Walli’s 19th-century grandfather, and the second focuses on Margaret’s response to the murder of her beloved Robert and the attempts of corrupt officials to oust her from her position. Along the way, Margaret fends off various pigheaded men who forcefully attempt to seduce her. To safeguard her social position and protect herself, Margaret can’t cry out for help during these encounters; she must engineer her escape either by literally running out of rooms or waiting for the opportune knock of a servant. These details, along with the wrenching but historically accurate medical scenes (including a birth), give the book a sense of authenticity. Margaret’s struggles make her endearing as a character, and as the narrative unspools, we begin to see hints of how she will ultimately connect to Walli and his own struggles as a young doctor in 1960s Delhi. Although the prose can occasionally be long-winded (“What on earth he is driving at, I thought. Then I heard his next words that rooted me to the spot. I felt Catherine hold my hand, and squeeze it gently, as if to give me some strength”), overall, the writing is competent and keeps the story moving forward.
An engaging continuation of a historically accurate, emotionally riveting trilogy.
Pub Date: May 5, 2015
Page count: 364pp
Publisher: Historical Fiction Novels
Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015
Grimsby, Ontario, Canada
M. M. Kaye
The Far Pavilions
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Imagine then, a flat landscape, dark for the moment, but even so conveying to a girl running in the still deeper shadow cast by the walls of the Bibighar Gardens an idea of immensity, of distance, such as years before Miss Crane had been conscious of staDoctor Margaret MacKellar - British Empire's 1912 Kaiser-i-Hind Medal recipient, 2015
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