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Elle Newmark Has Died

Book cover

Yesterday, thanks to Teresa of Lovely Treez Reads, I found out that Elle Newmark has recently died. Author of The Sandalwood Tree, which had only been published in the last few months and which I had the utmost pleasure of reading in March, it would appear that what kept Elle going was her drive to finish the book.

When I was offered The Sandalwood Tree to review, I had to wait a long time for it to arrive, in fact as my deadline drew near and I hadn’t yet received it I emailed the tour host to find out if it had been posted to me. That was when I found out that Elle was very ill, though at the time I had assumed, wrongly, that it was something she would eventually recover from.

That Elle died due to issues arising from a problem in a routine operation, gallbladder surgery, is poignant for me at this time, as my mother is due to undergo the same operation. And it reminds us that the most mundane and usual health complaints can cause fatal problems.

The Sandalwood Tree is one of the offerings of the Transworld Reading Group Challenge. It is wonderful that so many people are likely to be reviewing this fantastic book and it’s a nice tribute to a very talented writer.

My review of the book is linked to on every mention of it’s title in this post. You may also like to read Helen’s review, Teresa’s review, and Erin’s review.

Elle’s last blog post, in which she describes her illness and editing her last book, can be found here.



August 23, 2011, 8:49 pm

I heard about this a few days ago when someone else mentioned it in their review of The Sandalwood Tree. It’s very sad news but great to see that so many people have been enjoying Elle’s work through the Transworld challenge.

Rosemary Sturge

September 11, 2011, 9:17 pm

I was really sad to hear this. I wrote to Elle after reading her book about Venice which made me laugh because she had obviously never been there, and imagined her characters could get there by horse and carriage, not knowing Venice was and is on a series of islands, and lots of other things which were not likely in the C15th. I suppose I was quite critical, but she wrote me such a nice reply and told me about her India book. It was really generous of her to be so nice about it. I will definitely read The Sandalwood Tree in her memory.

Charlie: Hi Rosemary, it was nice of her, though if you were critical without being nasty she probably took the information gratefully. The Sandalwood Tree is a really good book, and as far as my somewhat limited knowledge goes, I’d say it’s accurate enough (accuracy is important to me too, especially when it comes to culture and history). I think it’s lovely she’s left a legacy like that for you, something good coming from the bad.



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