A powerful novel about belonging, race, British India and contemporary Britain, by the Dylan Thomas Prize-shortlisted author of PIGEON.
'EXQUISITE' Fiona McFarlane, award-winning author of THE NIGHT GUEST
'BEAUTIFUL' Claire Fuller, award-winning author of BITTER ORANGE
'BEGUILING' Guinevere Glasfurd, Costa First Novel Award-shortlisted author of THE WORDS IN MY HAND
'An Indian household can no more be governed peacefully without dignity and prestige, than an Indian Empire.'
THE COMPLETE INDIAN HOUSEKEEPER AND COOK, FLORA ANNIE STEEL & GRACE GARDINER
Magda is a former scientist with a bad temper and a sharp tongue, living alone in a huge house by the sea and getting through carers at a rate of knots. Until Susheela arrives.
The two women strike up an unlikely friendship: Magda's no-nonsense approach to life turns out to be an unexpected source of strength for Susheela; and Susheela's Bengali heritage brings back memories of Magda's childhood in colonial India and of her mother's struggle to fit in within the suffocating structure of the Raj's ruling class.
Evelyn, Magda and Susheela. Three women searching for a place to belong, somewhere to call home. Three lives connected by a legacy of resentment, blood, guilt and hope.
Conran's fierce, compassionate second novel explores the complexities of the Raj and contemporary Britain through the eyes of three brilliantly realised characters, who are finely drawn and entirely believable. - Mail on Sunday
Packs a powerful punch and makes you smile while breaking your heart. - Woman's Weekly
Conran's work is subtle and complex: there is no one right story about the Empire. Instead we are offered multiple views, ironies and contradictions that only one of most talented, tender writers in Wales could portray. - New Welsh Review
Fierce, compassionate, angry, but above all, heart-breakingly real. I was drawn in from the very first page. - Claire Fuller, author of BITTER ORANGE
ALYS CONRAN's first novel PIGEON (Parthian, 2016) won the Wales Book of the Year Award 2017, the Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award, the Wales Arts Review People's Choice Award and was shortlised for the International Dylan Thomas Prize.
Originally from North Wales, she spent several years in Edinburgh and Barcelona before returning to the area to live and write. She is now Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bangor and has been selected as the Hay Festival International Fellow for 2019-2020.
Her late father, also a writer, was born in Kharagpur, Bengal.