India, the 1940s: a time of political turmoil and violence; a country on the verge of its tryst with destiny.
Ross Monroe is a boxer, a Catholic and an Anglo-Indian.
Throughout his youth, Ross is sustained by a single dream: to box his way to Olympic victory -- until a devastating betrayal by an Englishman sends him into exile, and an obsession which will change his life for ever.
In present-day England, Owen Monroe, aspiring novelist, is writing the story of his father's life in an attempt to avoid confronting the problems in his own.
But family chronicle turns to amateur sleuthing when a chance discovery provides a clue to the whereabouts of his father's long-lost enemy.
The quest that follows takes Owen through the secrets of the Monroe past and into a love affair he could never have thought possible...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 416 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- Publication Date: 01/08/2007
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781416522775
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Review by AHS-Wolfy
Another <i>different than what's come before</i> novel from my current favourite author. This time around he draws from his own family history and takes a look at the Anglo-Indians when the Raj was crumbling in 1940's India while also examining what it means for that minority in the present day. Owen Monroe (the narrator) is a teacher, bartender & occasional porn novelist using a pseudonym of Millicent Nash. He wants to write <i>The Book</i> telling the life-story of his parents (Ross & Kate) going back to those troubled times and what it was like for them then. The story is split with alternating chapters detailing Owen's current life and then telling his parents' story. Owen is also carrying on an investigation for his father trying to find a man named Skinner who is a recurring character in Ross' history usually to the detriment of his current fortunes.While I said it was different to his other work, there are a few of Glen Duncan's usual themes running throughout the dual narrative. He looks at death, sex, fate, lost love and relationships but never lets any overpower the story that he's telling. It is an intelligent, sad, funny, insightful story that examines what it means to belong to a minority people while never beating you over the head with it or sending you on a guilt-trip. While I think this is somewhat toned down from most of his other books there are still some graphic depictions of sex and sexuality, quite a lot of profanity and some scenes of violence. So those put off by such things should probably be forewarned before picking up anything by this author.