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Having left, it is never really possible to return
on February 27, 2007
This is a beautifully written novel. It has been written by an author with a clear eye for intuitive observation as well as a superior ability to use words as effective tools.
The setting is cultural and familial dislocation for individuals as they move between countries. We follow this through social events, political upheaval and the weight of individual and collective expectations. While the primary characters are Indian and the countries involved are India, the USA and the UK, many of the observations and challenges identified would be common to all who move from the 'the known' to 'the unknown'.
The saddest lesson of all, perhaps, is that having left, one can never really return.
The primary characters are each in their own way outsiders: the Judge and his orphaned grand-daughter, the cook and his son. The cook's son carries the weight of expectations and need of an entire community of extended families as he tries to make it in the USA.
This is a novel to enjoy, and to think about.