The beautiful, spoiled and bored Olivia, married to a civil servant, outrages society in the tiny, suffocating town of Satipur by eloping with an Indian prince.
Fifty years later, her step-granddaughter goes back to the heat, the dust and the squalor of the bazaars to solve the enigma of Olivia's scandal. 'A superb book. A complex story line, handled with dazzling assurance ...moving and profound.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala has not only written a love story, she has also exposed the soul and nerve ends of a fascinating and compelling country.
This is a book of cool, controlled brilliance. It is a jewel to be treasured' THE TIMES
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 192 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 06/10/2011
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780349000138
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Review by bodachliath
An eloquent and beautifully poised novella comparing and contrasting the experiences of two English women in India. The unnamed narrator travels to India to investigate and tell the story of her father's first wife, a bored housewife who has an affair with a local prince. Their two stories are alternated and have many parallels, as well as contrasts between colonial and independent India. It is easy to see why this book won the Booker prize.