Orphaned as a child and widowed at thirteen, Sita has always known the shame of being born female in Indian society. Her life constrained and shaped by the men around her, she could not be more different from her daughter, Amita, a headstrong university professor determined to live life on her own terms. While trying to unravel the mysteries in her mother’s past, Amita encounters a traumatic event that would lead her down the path of self-discovery.
Unfolding simultaneously, their stories are set against the dramatic sweep of the early 20th century, from rural India to the chaotic Burmese battlefront to modern-day Singapore. Richly layered and beautifully evocative, the novel is a compelling exploration of two women’s struggle to assert themselves in male-dominated societies of both the part and the present.
“Chand proves herself a master of the modern Asian epic in this tale …she endows her characters with humanity and complexity, …grounding …their histories in solid research, and she offers a credible, compelling panorama of the tragedy and resilience, culture and individuality, political evolution, dissolution, and renaissance of 20th-century Singapore.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review, September 2011
“…a panoramic page-turner…The epic sweep..[of]…this meticulously researched book is alive with engrossing detail…”
— The Guardian, October 2010