Within the framework of this short and incisive novel, the author achieves not only the telling of a family tragedy, understated and quotidian, but also the evocation of beautiful images, places and even fragrances. With the backdrop of a cottage industry of sweet manufacture, a tale unfolds which presents and assesses Indian village life, the conflicts between generations, and the lure of the ever-tantalizing West. Narayan invites us into his imaginary town and lets it and its inhabitants reveal themselves. With his keen observance and elegant style Narayan has created a classic novel. He is a master craftsman, this is a book that has something to offer everyone.