by Kiran Desai
The time is 1986, and the place is India. In an old, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga lives a retired judge, his orphaned granddaughter, and the judge’s aged cook.
For the judge, life is about bitterness, but for Sai, his granddaughter, life is about love. That’s because she has a crush on her tutor. For the cook, life is about hope. His son, Biju, has moved to America to make a better life for himself.
For these three individuals, life has taken on a certain level of predictability. When an Indian-Nepali insurgency invades their village, our main characters are forced to confront the truth behind their lives and their views.
Engrossing, atmospheric, and, of course, sad. A worthy winner of the 2006 Man Booker Prize.