Of Tapestry, Time and Tears
"Those who do not learn from the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.” George Santayana's law of repetitive consequences is applicable not only in the context of history, but also in people's lives. It is the underlying theme of the novel Of Tapestry, Time and Tears. Of Tapestry, Time and Tears is an epic story of a woman's journey of painful self-discovery and her participation in the historical events of the twentieth century—the Depression, World War II, India's Partition, and ultimately, 9/11. Edwina Kleberg is defined by her German and Irish immigrant parents and her life in the Texas Hill Country during the Depression and pre-war years of the 1930's. As a female writer in the predominately male world of journalism, she is a unique observer to the myriad of hateful global changes through her work as a war correspondent in Italy, but meets an Indian soldier who not only saves her life at the battle of Monte Cassino, but piques her interest about India's impending break from British rule. Her ultimate assignment takes her to 1946 India. Against the dramatic backdrop of India's Independence and the violent cruelties of Partition, Edwina commits a series of poor choices, including a tragically poignant romance, all of which transforms her from a na´ve egotistical young writer into a mature woman committed to saving the orphans of Delhi. Upon her return to Texas, she is faced with personal demons of loneliness, purposelessness, and alcoholism which miraculously results in her greatest blessing—just as Baba, her beloved sadhu predicted. Each of the characters woven through the story mirrors the complexities of life and how we are permanently affected by the historical era into which we are born. From Rajil Chaudhary, an emotionally tortured man trapped between the modern world of the west and the rigidity of India's culture, Baba, the colorful sadhu, who guides Edwina through her problems with his rich metaphorical lessons, Nikolai Petrov, the Russian journalist who surreptitiously struggles against the Cold War, Gordon Winchcomb, the hard-edged entrepreneur who secretly believes in the noble magic of Don Quixote to Carl T. Bunch, the Texas rancher hiding a painful secret behind his wild, alcohol-fueled antics—all of the characters are fresh, psychologically complex, and symbolic of life's difficult choices.
What people are saying - Write a review
Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite
"Of Tapestry, Time and Tears" is the story of a news reporter and war correspondent Edwina Kleberg that will hold the reader's attention through every page as Edwina's life unfolds. Edwina's father, Joseph, loses both parents in devastating storms in Texas decades after the Civil War but goes on to live a successful life as a rancher in the Texas Hills Country. When Edwina is born in 1916, Joseph just knows she will be special and she is, throughout her life. Edwina gets a full scholarship to the University of Texas and actually interviews Lyndon Johnson, secretary to her father's cousin, Richard Kleberg. Edwina gets a job with the New York Post but when her fiance, John Billingsley, is killed in the war in the Pacific just after Pearl Harbor, she volunteers to be a war correspondent and is assigned to Italy where she meets the brave soldier, Birendar, from India. When Birendar is killed, Edwina arranges for herself to be assigned to India in his memory. There, Edwina lives through the tumultuous years of post WWII India and does much good as she rescues and places Delhi's orphans. There, she also meets the love of her life, Rajil Chaudhary, and is warned by her beloved fortune teller Baba that her heart will be broken. How? Read "Of Tapestry, Time and Tears" and find out!
Author Carol Morgan has written a highly moving and well-written story of a woman's part in those tumultuous years for India right after World War II. The characters of Edwina, Rajil, Baba, Edwina's brother Paul, are three dimensional and engrossing. The plot line flows smoothly through the book's many pages to its conclusion and will leave the reader sad that the book has ended. That the author has interwoven successfully her fictional characters with real life people from history such as Lady Mountbatten, Gandhi, and Lyndon Johnson is a tribute to her writing skills. Count on it, Edwina Kleberg is a literary character who will not be forgotten and "Of Tapestry, Time and Tears" should become a classic.
TEXAS HILL COUNTRY 1920
You could come up here Paulie Come on up you can see forever and ever and ever
See Eddy I told you we shouldnt go up in the tree Paul gave Edwina an I told you so look and carefully worked his way down the tree trunk and ont...
Edwina and the Catholic Church
Edwina could hardly sleep the night before her thirteenth birthday Tomorrow she would no longer be a child but nearer to the ranks of grownups Th...
Mother Mother come here She shrieked An alarmed Mary Margaret stormed into Edwinas bedroom Whats wrong? Why are you screaming? You sh...
The ruins of Indianola1930
Your family is not on the list of casualties I will go back in the morning and check again
As they walked into the grand dining room Edwina saw a familiar face It was Rajil Chaudhary with his wife She could feel his gaze upon her as she a...
Everyone at the table felt uncomfortable at his remark and said nothing Unfazed Nigel continued to talk and drink wine When the waiter came for th...
It was tea time and Edwina hurried down to the veranda to meet Rajil She didnt like it when Gordon and Nigel intruded Edwina knew she had misjud...
The return journey home didnt seem as difficult as the trip to Haridwar Perhaps it was because she was preoccupied with how she would use her enlig...
Rajil Rajil I didnt leave Im here She yelled frantically pedaling toward him He looked in her direction with a puzzled expression as if she werent real
To Kumbh Mela? Such an odd assortment of people I cant believe it He was laughing now but his laugh was one of relief not amusement
Whats the concrete circle over there?
I see that one it looks like mashed potatoes and that one looks like white cow poop Paul said
Paul began to cry Please dont tell Mama or Daddy Ed please keep it a secret
I hate Mother and Daddy for sending me here Ive decided I will not communicate with them at all while Im here Ill leave them guessing as to how m...
Elena is going to marry Candelario Im angry with her for doing this I had grand plans for our attending college together and then she falls in love an...
Letter from Paul at Terrill School 1935
Letter from Edwina 1937
Letter from Paul 1938Paris
Pauls Life in Paris
FDR won his third term as President No one has ever done that before its remarkable
Can you use your influence to contact Paul and insist he leave Paris immediately? Of course dont let Mother know and dont tell anyone about the insi...
Letter from Paul December 1940
1940 New York
Johns made several visits but in his absence my friend and fellow journalist Sheldon Mankewitz is my constant companion He writes obits for the Pos...
Mary Margaret will be miserable to live with through all of the wedding planning John You and I better gird up our loins The two of them laughed t...
December 7 1941Pearl Harbor
Edwina had the same gnawing feeling of impending doom as before after seeing the news clips of Hitler The world was so close to destruction there ...
The fighting at Cassino began January 17 It took the Allied forces six weeks of heavy fighting and 16000 casualties to advance a mere seven miles T...
The British press wrote convincingly about the Germans presence and the stories fed the debate for destroying the structure Two Allied generals flew ...
As Edwina worked on his superficial shoulder wound he leaned over and whispered in her ear I am very lucky because I have the prettiest nurse in t...
There are many of us Now you know Betty
Running across the Allied line of advance was the Rapido River flowing through Cassino and across the entrance to the Liri valley Crossing the Rapid...
Are you here again? Edwina asked
Just a couple Dr Taylor yelled out Any volunteers?
Betty Watch out Betty Turning her head to the right she saw the source of the voice the Rajput solder Birendar He leaped up and out of the shallow d...
Yesindependence There is a lot of arguing and fighting amongst the members of Congress and the British but it will happen It will be a day of great j...
Only one of them spoke Edwina Kleberg?
NYC October 1945
It began with the British East India Company in the 1600s struggling for the right to trade With the noble Mogul empire collapsing in the 1700s the ...
When Lala Lajpat Rai inspirational author and politician died of his injuries during a march on the Simon Commission a whole new group of patriots...
Letter to Paul January 1946
An interview with Sir Wavell
Learning about Rajil Chaudhary during tea time1946
Sightseeing with Rajil 1946
After leaving the press club Edwina decided to visit Shwatis silver shop in the Chowk If the dark angry man was there again Edwina decided she wou...
It is my husband Avinash He doesnt like me to talk to customers especially Westerners He thinks I am too interested in stories of their country
Yes arguing go on and on for long long time perhaps forever It seems that way Shwati
I like to see you smiling Edwina If a small thing such as a bicycle does that then Ive done my good deed
Why would Mr Nehru say something like that? It undoes everything that the Cabinet Mission accomplished
Because it was raining it was a perfect day to write letters to family but more importantly to Helen Reid Edwina had to keep Helen Reid interested in I...
My friend Rajil says he thinks the final plan will be two separate statesIndia and Pakistan If so it will be a disaster Muslims will be hurrying to Pakista...
In spite of the rain Edwina headed toward the Foreign Press Club to get opinions on Jinnahs statements but her colleagues saw nothing threatening in ...
Maybe the other reporters are right Because Im a neophyte and wanting a huge story so badly I am constructing fantasies in my mind
Edwina? suddenly a voice came from out of nowhere
Biting into it she exclaimed Thesethese are tortillasjust like the flour tortillas my friend and I used to eat in the barn when I was a child The only diffe...
And your intuition is right Edwina I have something for you read it Rajil reached into his suit pocket and brought out a piece of paper
August 13 Meeting with Nikolai Petrov
Dahlink I see you are here I had begun to think you were not coming He exhaled smoke through his nose
So why are you telling me this? Why not just go to Calcutta and take all the glory for yourself and Pravda?
Edwina ignored the cautious voice in her head warning her not to go to Calcutta with Nikolai Petrov She was too preoccupied thinking of the fame t...
Petrov didnt say anymore
Edwina knew that no impediments meant no safeguards
On the noisy flight back to Delhi Edwina held the camera and bag in her lap She was in possession of the story and the pictures they were hers It wou...
By afternoon of the following day it was time to take a shower dress and go for tea She had to get out of the hotel room She chose a bright orange sh...
A week passed since Atlees speech the surprise appointment of the Mountbattens and the departure of Wavlee It seemed Rajil Chaudhary had simply ...
As she sat taking afternoon tea alone on the veranda she made notes on future stories now possible because of the new development An interview wit...
Edwina knew she was lucky to share a first name with Lady Edwina Mountbatten Other than the name she wondered why Lady Mountbatten was int...
Tea with Nigel
MARCH 3 1947
I was just going to the Press Club perhaps they know more there What are the names of your relatives and where is their village? I will see what I can...
Perhaps something less austere than that but I do know it was moving I feel more connected to India than ever almost as if Im part of their historyeve...
Im afraid my knowledge is sketchy at best I know it was built by a king as a memorial to his beloved wife
Fear and distrustworsened by inflammatory accusations from both sides Each side fears the other will obtain more privilege and dominate the other
It took hours to wind through the outbuildings the tombs of the Shahs other wives the masjid and around to the Yamuna As Rajil and Edwina walked...
He was so close to her now Edwina could smell him and she felt his breath on her shoulder She liked the way he smelled a heavy savory smoky smell...
Oh dear Im most disappointed because I look forward to these outings with the greatest of anticipation Rajil
For the next few weeks Edwina used work as a distraction from her dilemma It always worked for her before Work was the answer to anything she d...
As she neared the plain tan boxes Edwina saw the masses of people that were the barracks temporary residents It was like a train station with people h...
Oh no sir Im so sorry sir I think if people realize your plight and that it might become worse the closer it gets to Independence Edwina didnt know w...
Thank you Mr Singh for helping me and now Im going to help you Im writing a note to my friend Lady Mountbatten It may take a day or two pleas...
In spite of Babas shameful beratement and the voice of Mary Margaret that continually reverberated in her head Edwina agreed to go away with Rajil...
Every weekend away with Rajil brought another fascinating and beautiful part of India As Edwina became more and more intimate with Rajil Chaud...
Edwina walked back to Chaudhary House in disbelief Her life was forever changed nothing would be the same She would now be responsible for an...
Edwina grew larger each day She was painfully aware of the knowing glances in the street Most everyone in the neighborhood knew she was a single...
Who told you that? Edwina asked angrily
Well I have to run now Gordon When would like to see me? Edwina said opening the door
By the middle of May she was the recipient of the John Steele literary award and there were whispers she might be considered for the Pulitzer Prize f...
After the celebration huge crowd of fans gathered around her wanting her autograph and trying to touch her Edwina was tired temporarily weary of ...
But my sonhow will I see my son?
Perhaps they will and good luck to them Edwina said absently and began running again It was no consequence to her what Rajil Chaudhary did in th...
January 26 1950
She said goodbye for now knowing she would be back
More visits with Baba
If you will give me a few weeks to wrap up my affairs in BA Ill take you up on your kind offer
1956Lucknow India Uttar PradeshLiteracy house
The morning of February 21 1960 Edwina awoke early to take coffee on the veranda and have a quick read of the paper The newspaperit seemed lik...
Edwina was shocked and saddened A mere twelve years ago she stood at attention when Lord and Lady Mountbatten pulled away from Viceregal Lo...
Every time he summons me I go without question or excuse Edwina thought She was resentful but she realized it was Vikrams departure that made h...
Everyone was asking if there was anyone in India who could take the place of Jawaharlal Nehru?
It was in September the last day of Urs Jagannath Mandir cows were returning to the temple premises disturbing Urs An argument ensued but overni...
This very important Miss Edwina Read it immediately and comply please I beg you Mr Rajil he want to see you before he leave for Ahmedabad tom...
She slid beneath the chilly sheets to wait for Rajil and very soon afterward she heard the door open and shut
Im just afraid Rajil I remember what you said so long ago about communal violencethats its like a tornado and a person can get caught in the vortex ...
On the fourteenth day in the late afternoon Edwina was sweeping the entryway to Chaudhary House when she saw Muri Chaudhary walking toward t...
Elena found Edwina the next morning face down smeared with mud in her white nightgown She was incoherent and mumbling Leave me alone leav...
We live in reference to past experience and not to future events however inevitable H G Wells
After the Hurricane 1886
February 23 1917
She felt as if a huge weight was lifted from her She was light almost giddy
The rest of the evening with Vikram was wonderful Now she could share every detail about Rajil with his son his tortured past his miserable marriage...
1972Carl T Bunch
Edwina had almost forgotten about Gordon Winchcombs visit and his tragic situation until she received a letter from her bank An executive officer o...
That letter was Gordon Winchcombs obituary He was dead He must have been alone when he took his final breath and there was no one to mourn hi...
Letter to Paul about Carl T Bunch
Marriage to Carl T Bunch 1973
I just recently returned home to find a mountain of mail but one particular letter stood out Dean Richard Davis of Sul Ross University in Alpine has h...
She laughed out loud to herself My God Im thinking just like Baba noweverything is a metaphor But it was true her next adventure was fresh and rea...
Letter from Paul 1978
She remembered Gandhis weekly prayer meetings at the height of civil unrest in Delhi At one of the meetings an emaciated Gandhi declared Your pe...
September 9 2001
Mother I cant believe it The book is due out tomorrow youre going to be on TV Its surreal To think that my mother is a published author And the m...
Death is not the end of life but the beginning of a new one Unknown