The Taj Mahal Of Trundle

The Taj Mahal Of Trundle

by Margaret Sutherland
     
 
Two sisters inherit the family home and go back to living the quiet life in Trundle, an imaginary country town on the coast of NSW, Australia.
Both Marie and Ronnie have been hurt by life, but their hopeful new start soon deteriorates into antagonism. Conflict is fanned by the arrival of new neighbours; the Lal family, whose new house overshadows their home and

Overview

Two sisters inherit the family home and go back to living the quiet life in Trundle, an imaginary country town on the coast of NSW, Australia.
Both Marie and Ronnie have been hurt by life, but their hopeful new start soon deteriorates into antagonism. Conflict is fanned by the arrival of new neighbours; the Lal family, whose new house overshadows their home and disturbs their peace.

When Mr Lal's wife becomes ill and dies, he evolves a grandiose plan to build a monument in her honour. His Taj will be a tribute to his culture and a memorial to his own struggle as a migrant and outsider. His search for land takes him to Pelican: a coastal commune on the outskirts of town.

Marie's past involved a scandal at this commune. Decades on, she wants to make amends, renewing contact with long-term residents who are now trying to redefine their purpose. First Marie and then her sister become entangled in the commune's way of life, uncovering facts and facing needs that neither knew about themselves. In Trundle, human behaviour is at its best and worst. Unexpected kindness and the rebirth of love counteract the crooked deals, racism, perversion and violence which show that small-town life is anything but uneventful.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Sutherland's (Windsong, 2008) contemporary novel takes readers to the small, fictional Australian town of Trundle, offering a peek at the lives of its residents over the course of a year. Grown sisters Ronnie and Marie have returned to their family home in Trundle, each of them recovering from a personal heartbreak. They're not sure what to make of their troublesome neighbors, the Lals, who have built a large, modern house next door. The sisters and the Lals are at the core of the story, but Sutherland expertly weaves the lives of various residents into a rich tapestry. Trundle possesses many elements found in any small town: mom-and-pop shops, a struggling economy and a colorful cast of characters. What sets it apart from other towns is a place called Pelican, a commune founded in the 1980s on the outskirts of town. Marie, a former resident who left Pelican under a cloud of disgrace, returns to find she is welcome in the community; burned out from work, Ronnie finds herself restored by her stay there. Meanwhile, the grieving Mr. Lal sees Pelican as the perfect spot to build his own version of the Taj Mahal in tribute to his deceased wife, and his son, Vijay, struggles to find himself and the meaning of life. The story shifts perspective, often jumping between the central protagonists and various Trundle figures, giving readers an intimate view of the town. But well-defined, realistically drawn characters enable readers to easily follow these shifts in perspective. In spite of occasional scandals and disturbing events, Sutherland's novel is, at heart, a quiet story of ordinary people dealing with everyday problems. Her graceful descriptions--"Through the open window flowed a deep and restful stillness punctuated by the chime of birds and the tolling of frogs"--bring to life both the landscape and the people who inhabit it. An enjoyable, eloquently told tale.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426904394
Publisher:
Trafford Publishing
Publication date:
10/19/2009
Pages:
273
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

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