This enthralling novel is an moving portrayal of the coming of the Ghandian independence movement to a small village in India. Narrated by an old woman native to the village, it faithfully captures the local atmosphere, including the mistrust among different levels of the population and the small jealousies among those of the same. It covers the whole range of the population, from untouchables to British plantation owners.
The novel starts with a portrayal of village life, where social differences are manifested by geographic ones. Then, when one of the young men of the village starts campaigning for the Ghandian independence movement, the narrator and many of the village women enlist. From there, the suspense never falters. The novel conveys beautifully the joy arising from group protest, as well as the fear of lathi-wielding policemen and -- especially -- the courage which transcends.
A beautiful and engrossing novel which I couldn't put down once I had started it.