Longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize, the breathtaking story of a woman and a man in pursuit of freedom
‘THE STUFF OF MIRACLES’ Bryan Washington
‘A GORGEOUS, GRIPPING READ’ Kamila Shamsie
‘I’M BLOWN AWAY BY IT’ Tessa Hadley
‘NOVELS THIS GOOD ARE RARE’ Daily Telegraph
Mehar, a young bride in rural 1929 Punjab, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. She and her sisters-in-law, married to three brothers in a single ceremony, spend their days hard at work in the family’s ‘china room’, sequestered from contact with the men. When Mehar develops a theory as to which of them is hers, a passion is ignited that will put more than one life at risk.
Spiralling around Mehar’s story is that of a young man who in 1999 travels from England to the now-deserted farm, its ‘china room’ locked and barred. In enforced flight from the traumas of his adolescence – his experiences of addiction, racism, and estrangement from the culture of his birth – he spends a summer in painful contemplation and recovery, finally gathering the strength to return home.