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on 2 February 2007
Strikingly original

Nanda Kaul, an elderly lady, decides to live a secluded life in Carignano in Kausali. All she wishes to entertain is stillness and calm in this period of her life. All her life the care of others, her 3 daughters and her husband the vice-consul has been a religious calling she has believed in, a vocation that one day went dull as though its life-spring had dried up. She suffered from nimiety, the disorder caused by the fluctuating and unpredictable excess of the presence of family members, friends and acquaintances.

When one day Nanda receives a letter from her daughter Asha asking her to take care of her great-granddaughter Raka, a feeling of anger, disappointment and loathing arises in her. She doesn't feel like conversing again, she doesn't want to make sure of another's life and comfort, she doesn't want to get involved anymore.

Upon Raka's arrival they work out means by which they can live together and each feels she is doing her best at avoiding the other. Nanda is a recluse out of vengeance for a long life of duty and obligation, Rak is a recluse by nature and instinct. Her parents have long given up to try to socialise her. But slowly the child has the capacity to change things and Nanda discovers new needs within herself. When finally violence explodes, she has to face the truth.

An original novel full of delicate observations about human nature and parental relationships.
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on 27 February 2011
Rich and insightful protrayal of the the delicate threads that binds families together which in turn shapes a greater society. Desai's written word is truly polysensural, mesmerising and authorative as an Indian Summer. She is my most favourite author of Anglo-Indian literature.
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on 26 January 2015
after a hesitant start i was really getting into this book so was surprised and disappointed when i realised i'd come to the end! it's well written, poignant and dramatic.
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on 19 March 2004
This book was unusually written and tells the sad tale of 3 women. However the sadness is not in your face and it does not makes you despair for the characters. Enjoyable and memorable and can be read again.Quite funny too.
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on 4 March 2014
The book was exactly as described. It arrived within the specified period. This is a good supplier, I have bought two books from them and they were both just as described.
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