I was given this book a while ago and never got around to it. Since I decided to try and get rid of a lot of books I came across it again and read it this week.
It is about a young, orphaned girl, Sai growing up with her grandfather in a small village in India. There is a cast of colourful characters who hearken back to a time when life was simpler. They include the cook, the judge (grandfather), Noni and Lola, Sai's tutors and Uncle Potty and Father Booty. It is set at the time of a Nepalise revolution in India and describes how society is falling apart around them and yet people are desperately trying to cling to the remnants. There is also a large portion of the book set in America with the cooks son, an illegal immigrant.
What I liked about the book: The setting was so beautifully laid out. I could really imagine that I was there, this book really had the power to transport me into the story. I love the way she wrote, building up the story from Sai's childhood until the present town. How she allowed you to see a little bit of the psyche of all the characters. She also allowed you to feel empathy for both sides in the raids and riot scenes and it was very clear how some people really have no desire to be involved, but just get swept along anyway.
What I didn't like: I felt that the ending was a bit premature and there were still a few loose ends to tie up. I felt like I had walked out 10 minutes before the end of the movie!
Would I read it again: Definitely
Would I read another book by the same author: Definitely