S.G.D. Singh is an author Isabelle and I were introduced to when we first started blogging. We both loved The Infernal Guard trilogy (Emergence, Descent and Severance – click on the titles for our reviews). Exiled to Freedom is a book I’ve been interested about since it released and today I’m participating in the blog tour. Keep on reading for more about this book and an excerpt!
Seventeen year old Joti lives a peaceful life on her ancestral farm in Punjab, far from political turmoil, foreign wars, and the struggle for independence. Until the summer of 1947, when her country is suddenly partitioned to create two sovereign nations—Pakistan and India.
Punjab erupts into a shattered land of nightmares, torn apart by death and destruction. Before the violence subsides, millions of people will have lost their lives and Joti will find herself amongst the countless refugees fighting to survive one of the greatest tragedies of the modern era.
In the summer of 2018, seventeen year old Priya travels from her home in New York City to her great grandmother’s farm in Punjab. Searching for meaning in her materialistic and shallow existence, she becomes determined to uncover the mysteries of the past and heal her family’s wounds, left too long unattended.
Priya soon finds herself on an adventure of discovery, learning what it is to love and what it means to know true peace.
You can find Exiled to Freedom on Goodreads
You can buy Exiled to Freedom here on Amazon
“His own father was killed in one of the riots before the border was announced,” he continued as if I had not spoken. “He could have hidden after that. He could have forgotten his commitment to our family. He knew we lost everything, that our home was on the wrong side of the new border.”
Papa released me then, and I crossed my arms, turning away from him to face the trees again.
“But he chose to help those in need instead. He singlehandedly took charge of his entire neighborhood, and, risking death from many who were driven mad with vengeance, he saved the lives of every soul who sought shelter there.”
I realized I was trembling as Papa wrapped me into his safe embrace.
“And he chose to look for you as soon as the violence ended.”
Papa raised my face and wiped my tears away with his rough hands.
“I will not be disappointed if you decide not to marry him, Joti. That is the truth. But I believe you should at least speak to him. Just for a few minutes. Decide for yourself what you think is best.”
I nodded. It was unheard of to speak to your fiancé in those days, of course, but it seemed that nothing from the past would remain the same.
My father led me back through the camp and to the river’s edge. The sun hung low in the sky by then, and the camp held a peaceful stillness.
My two uncles joined us halfway down the winding path, leading the four strangers I had seen earlier.
Papa motioned me to go alone farther along the rocky ground.
After an agonizingly long moment, I saw from the corner of my vision that one of the strangers had broken away from the others. He hesitated before approaching me. I turned my eyes away before my gaze reached his face, feeling an inexplicable panic well up in me at the thought of what I would see. If he was old and ugly, would I reject him based on that? And how would I live with the shame of that for the rest of my life?
And if he was beautiful and young, what would I do then?
It was unthinkable that I could still care for such meaningless nonsense, and yet there was no denying that my mind thought these things even as my soul scrambled, fighting like a bird trapped in a cage.
The six men watched us like sentinels, just out of earshot as the sound of the rushing river filled my ears. I felt a surge of pride at how intimidating my father and his two brothers looked, even in their rags and in spite of how thin they had grown in the last two years.
The man I had been arranged to marry once upon a time—a lifetime ago—spoke to me then, but I didn’t hear what he said. I only registered that his voice, at least, was far from hideous.
He took a step closer and raised his voice.
“Your father says you have lived in this place for almost two years.”
“And?” I felt suddenly angry, which was better than terrified, at least.
“And…and I am sorry for your family’s suffering. It must have been—”
“The people in this camp care about each other,” I snapped, my own voice harsher than I meant it to be. “They help each other. They share. They never steal.”
“Of course. I only meant that—”
“My father says you saved Muslims.” I hoped he would hear the disgust in my voice and leave. Just turn around and walk away, before I could even gather the courage to look at his face.
“I…” He sounded confused. “I did what was right. What anyone would have done.”
“Anyone?” I rounded on him, looking at him before I knew what I was doing. He was anything but hideous and old, and I blinked in surprise, nearly forgetting my anger for an instant in the face of his beauty. “Do you know how many doors were closed in our faces? Do you know how many turned their backs on our pain? On our deaths?”
“And how many of us turned our backs here?” he said.
This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 12 till 25 August. See the tour schedule here.
About the Author:
SiriGuruDev Singh lives in New Mexico and Punjab, India with her husband, two daughters, and various extended relatives and animals. She is the author of the YA urban fantasy trilogy The Infernal Guard and Exiled To Freedom, a YA historical fiction novel about India’s bloody Partition of 1947.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Exiled to Freedom. There will be 5 winners who all win a signed copy of Exiled to Freedom. Open International.
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Exiled to Freedom is a book I’m excited to read! Keep an eye on the blog, because my review will be posted at the beginning of October! What’s your favorite type of historical fiction to read?