Fiction featuring Care experience

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The Ash Museum

Rebecca Smith

2021

1944. The Battle of Kohima. James Ash dies leaving behind two families: his ‘wife’ Josmi and two children, Jay and Molly, and his parents and sister in England who know nothing about his Indian family.

After the death of James, the English family step in and send Jay and Molly to boarding school in England. Josmi dies and the children never see their mother again. Later in the novel as teenagers they come to London to live with Jucinda who is a friend of their aunt.

2012. Emmie is raising her own daughter, Jasmine, in a world she wants to be very different from the racist England of her childhood. Her father, Jay, doesn’t even have a photograph of the mother he lost and still refuses to discuss his life in India. Emmie, whose mother dies when she was young, finds comfort in the local museum – a treasure trove of another family’s stories and artefacts.

Little does Emmie know that with each generation, her own story holds secrets and fascinations that she could only dream of.

Through ten decades and across three continents, The Ash Museum is an intergenerational story of loss, migration and the search for somewhere to feel at home.