Shadow of the Tiger: A Story of India

Written by Paul Haston
Review by Elicia Parkinson

The parallel lives of two very different women—Gwendolen, the white wife of a British consul, and Kuljit, an Indian maid—are told against the backdrop of the events leading up to the division of British India in 1947. Kuljit, physically and emotionally abused by her husband, finds solace in the arms of Sanjay, the son of an Indian general. Kuljit’s story is told omnisciently by Gwendolen, who refers to Kuljit as her “Beloved” or her “Indian princess.” The lives of the two women ultimately come together through a path of trauma as their country and their lives become fractured and divided.

While the author tells an interesting story, he frequently relies on parenthetical thoughts, which disrupt the flow of the narrative and serve to remind the reader that this is fiction. The political backdrop is an interesting choice, but unfortunately reads at times as standard historical portrayals of the races, including a white savior character.

This story will appeal to readers who enjoy an interesting love triangle and melodrama, but for those reading specifically for the setting and political background of the Partition of India, it may not deliver.