I visited India for the first time in 1979, but my memories are still vivid. Most of the cars on the roads were black Ambassadors, manufactured in India. No bells and whistles, but the drivers cleverly maneuvered around cows in the road, and daring pedestrians forging ahead through the traffic.
One night we stayed in a guest-room across from a park full of peacocks. We looked forward to seeing them in the morning, especially the males, proud in their plumage of yellow,blue,and green feathers. What we didn’t know when we laid our weary heads on the bumpy pillows and longed for a breath of moving air, was that our peacock neighbors couldn’t sleep either. They were awake at sunrise, greeting each other with the loudest, most raucous, ugly sounding calls you can imagine — and multiply that by one hundred or more birds.
India is a fascinating, colorful land to visit, though the sight of beggars living along the side of the streets, or a mother in a bedraggled sari, standing in the middle of traffic, her hand outstretched for food for the baby in her arms and the toddlers clinging to her skirts, was always heart-breaking. As I traveled frequently to India over the years, beggars became less visible (perhaps by some municipal regulations?) and the cities looked more prosperous.
My early travels in India were far less comfortable than today. We seldom had air-conditioning in the moderate guest houses where we stayed, and suffered frequent loss of electrical power. We often rode on rickshaws drawn by men whose powerful muscles in their arms and legs kept their bony frames moving through traffic with ‘seeming’ ease.
I could go on, but I think this will help you to understand why I especially enjoyed researching and writing Dr. Katharine Bushnell’s experience in India eighty-five years earlier. The challenges were greater, but she was determined to expose the mistreatment of young Indian women in the brothels of the military during the British Raj, and to help free any she could.
A historical novel, The Queen’s Daughters is the second book about the life of Katharine Bushnell. It is set in Victorian England, British India, and the Far East. There’s joy, victory and obedience to God’s call on her life, even though the subject matter may seem dark at times. If you like to read books about strong women who served God in unexpected places, you’ll enjoy getting to know Dr. Katharine Bushnell. The Queen’s Daughters is available on Amazon, September 1, 2017,