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Doctor Margaret's Sea Chest (Audiobook)

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  37 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Book I of The Azadi Series of historical fiction set during India’s struggle for freedom—Azadi—from the British Raj. The Books weave a tale of international intrigue, conflict, and poignant love between interesting characters of that era. In 1965 an over 100-year-old sea chest, believed to be that of an American doctor, Margaret, is discovered in the storage room of a hosp ...more
Published May 2010 by Spoken Books Publishing (first published December 1st 2008)
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Jun 27, 2009 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Waheed (Wally) Rabbani covers a very interesting period in history in this first of a trilogy of novels. The sweep spans the Underground Railway into Canada, the Crimean War, Dickensian London, the Indian Revolution of 1857 (quite overshadowed in recent times by the one in 1947 that led to that country's independence), the Charge of the Light Brigade (I did not know that it was a spectator event, where a viewing gallery watched the carnage in the valley below), Darwin's Theory of Evolution, and ...more
Tara Chevrestt
I am somewhat on the fence with this one. On one hand, I really enjoyed Margaret's story. A young woman in 1840s early America and Canada wanting to break all the rules and become a doctor really appeals to me. On the other hand, however, the other parts did about a male doctor in the 1960s didn't interest me that much. His character was likeable, but his parts had a James Bond type feel to them, partly due to the 1960s setting and partly due to the action and mystery and Russians with guns. I k ...more
D.B. Pacini
Jul 04, 2009 D.B. Pacini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doctor Margaret’s Sea Chest by Waheed Rabbani

Margaret, the main character, fascinates me from the beginning of this novel to the end. As a lovely child she charmed me with her inquisitive mind. As a young woman she impressed me with her determination to become a doctor when society adamantly blocked women from seeking careers in male dominated fields. This beautiful Margaret, this strong willed, capable, quick-witted, and resourceful woman, repeatedly triumphs over tremendous challenges to beco
Gisela Kretzschmar
Dr. Margaret is the extraordinary fictional character, whose life mirrors many dramatic events of history well worth being recalled. This is especially true for the Indian struggle for freedom during 19th century.

The story connects different events of history from different places and times, weaving a fascinating tapestry, which provides readers with vivid pictures of 19th century life in North America, Great Britain, Ukraine (during the Crimean War) and India as well as more recent impressions
Feb 15, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“Doctor Margaret’s Sea Chest” takes the reader on an intriguing journey spanning India, the U.S. and Canada complete with encounters with the KGB and the FBI. Along the way there is romance, intrigue, treachery and adventure. In short, there is a never a dull moment in this first book of a historical fiction trilogy.

The novel alternates between the perspectives of Doctor Wallidad Sharif in the 1960’s and Doctor Margaret Wallace (one of the first female doctors in the U
Jan 31, 2010 Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of Doctor Margaret’s Sea Chest written by Waheed Rabbani. This book is a debut novel and the first in his trilogy. Mr. Rabbani’s book keeps you engaged from beginning to end as he allows you to journey back and forth between the mid-1800’s and 1965 in Delhi, India and other parts of the world. The story discusses the lives of Dr. Margaret Wallace and Dr. Wallidad Sharif. Dr. Wallace wanted to be a doctor since-- she heard the minister first tell the story o ...more
Francesca Salerno
From the first pages of this magnificent novel, which gifted Waheed Rabbani begins at the portals of the historic Lady Dufferin Hospital in Delhi in 1965, to the dark and hidden secrets of characters who lived a century earlier in Victorian times, the reader of "Dr. Margaret's Sea Chest" is taken on a magical journey through time and space and across India, Europe, and America.

We experience this intriguing tale of mystery and detection through the eyes of a Canadian-trained physician of Indian
Overall score: 4.5/5 stars

Waheed Rabbani's novel, "Doctor Margaret's Sea Chest," brings us into several intriguing worlds: the Soviet Union of the 1960s, the wars in the Crimea during the 1850s, and the Sepoy Wars of India during the 1860s.

His protagonist, Dr. Walli Khan, is given a sea chest belonging to one Margaret Wallace ... along with the charge to get the belongings to her family. Through a variety of contacts and circumstances, he manages to do so. He also ends up with her diaries about
Rabbani covers a very interesting period in history in this first of a trilogy of novels. The sweep spans the Underground Railway into Canada, the Crimean War, the Indian Revolution of 1857, the Charge of the Light Brigade(apparently a spectator sport), Darwin's Theory of Evolution, and even Florence Nightingale. In addition, the modern part of the story, set in the 1960's piting the CIA and the KGB, in a hunt for the lost diaries of Doctor Margaret. It is a historic novel with adventure, romanc ...more
Malay A. Upadhyay
There are two ways in which an author can do justice to a reader – holistic research to lend a deeper/broader look than any other source can offer, and weaving the findings with heart – for that makes his/her work truly unique. Waheed Rabbani, though, makes a different point in this case: that the former can only be done well when the latter holds true.

I always like narratives that play with time. Doctor Margaret’s Sea Chest opens in a post-independence peaceful India where a Doctor Walli is tas
Biswanath Banerjee
Jan 17, 2015 Biswanath Banerjee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, thriller
In writing a historical novel the writer needs to be very cautious in maintaining a judicious balance between history and fiction. if historical facts overtake fictional imagination the story turns out to be a dry information fact book, and if imagination bypasses facts it no, longer can be categorised as history. From this perspective, Doctor Margaret’s Sea chest by Waheed Rabban is a successful venture where history and imagination are both friends, not foes. The time frame of the
Azadi Series,
Dec 20, 2014 AJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From its lyrical opening (“The full moon hung in a cloudless sky like a lantern held by an invisible force”), to its myriad plot twists, romantic entanglements, and action sequences, this historical novel will immerse you in a tale that keeps you turning the pages. The story begins in 1965 when an American doctor working in India, Walidad (“Walli”) Sharif, learns of a tantalizing mystery: a locked trunk belonging to a pioneering female American doctor has gone unclaimed for the past 100 years. W ...more
May 29, 2010 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doctor Margaret’s Sea Chest, a historical novel by Waheed Rabbani of Grimsby, Ontario is a fascinating look-back at the Indian Mutiny of 1857, which ushered in the struggle for freedom from the British Raj. The narrative latched on to a 100-year-old sea chest (trunk) belonging to an American doctor named Margaret takes the reader on a galloping ride through Delhi, Jhansi, Grimsby, Niagara region, New Jersey, London and Turkey.

Narrated through the first person POVs of Dr. Sharif, a naturalized A
Erma Odrach
Oct 03, 2010 Erma Odrach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: goodreads-author
Nearing the end of his medical stay in Delhi in the 1960’s, soon to return to America, Dr. Sharif is approached by hospital staff to return an old sea chest that has been left abandoned for over one hundred years. When Dr. Sharif agrees, so opens up a story full of intrigue, struggle, romance, betrayal, history and much, much more. The sea chest belonged to a Margaret Wallace, an American female doctor working as a missionary in India during India’s revolution in the mid-1800’s. Among other thin ...more
Faith Justice
Sep 03, 2010 Faith Justice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doctor Margaret's Sea Chest is the first book in a sprawling epic trilogy by Waheed Rabbani. The story in this debut novel spans over a hundred years and half the world; from mid-1960's India to pre-Civil War America. But the story always returns to the themes of freedom—national, personal, and gender. We have national struggles for independence, slaves being transported along the "Underground Railroad" from the U.S. to Canada, and the struggle of one young woman to fulfill her destiny and becom ...more
Wayne Croning
Jan 18, 2014 Wayne Croning rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first began reading this book, I had no idea of what to expect. Once I began reading it, I could not put it down. Had to take it to work and read it on my breaks. The book is fiction based on historical facts and the author does a remarkable job of making all the characters come to life. A very well written book and I thoroughly recommend it!

Wayne Croning
Author of 'Karachi Backwaters:My love affair with boats and other adventures.'
Saleh Radaideh
Jan 22, 2016 Saleh Radaideh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the result of master storytelling. The story is wide and vast, and covers so much in history as depicted in Margaret's diary located in the Sea Chest. People all over were looking for the Sea Chest as it contained valuable information, as Margaret had depicted many and various historical events in a way that most couldn't. Her writings and recordings became a valuable asset to society, and government agencies were searching for them.

Margaret is a sweet, passionate girl who always w
Jul 05, 2012 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
EDIT: This author has repeatedly harassed, belittled, and criticized me for the contents of my review in email, despite my insistence that this is my opinion. Be warned.

The synopsis on the back of the book confused me before I began reading, as it seemed to tell me the plot for the entire trilogy, instead of just this first book. I also struggled with staying interested in the book, as every page is saturated with foreign words and expressions that I needed to look up in the Glossary at the end
Sep 01, 2010 Mystee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting historical read. We follow Margaret through many twists and turns in her goals to not just be the same as every other female in the 1800s.

She grew up as the child of a minister and wanted to be a doctor. She didn't want to be seen as women were in that time period. She wanted to be more.

A neat twist in this book: it's not actually told in the 1800s. It's told in the 1960s by someone who found her chest filled with stories to her life. You do need to pay attention and follo
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Waheed Rabbani was born in India and introduced to English novels in his father’s library. Many of the books were purchased at ‘garage sales’ held by departing British civil service officers during the Raj.

Waheed graduated from a university in England, and obtained a master’s degree and a Creative Writing Certificate in Canada. He is now settled, on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Waheed’s first novel,
More about Waheed Rabbani...

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