Meet the Patel-Joneses - Babo, Sian, Mayuri, and Bean - in their little house with orange and black gates next door to the Punjab Women's Association in Madras. Babo grew up here, but he and Sian, his cream-skinned Welsh love, met in London. Babo's parents disapproved. And then they disapproved unless the couple moved back to Madras. So here they are. And as the 20th century creaks and croaks its way along, Babo, Sian, and the children navigate their way through the uncharted territory of a "hybrid" family: the hustle and bustle of Babo's relatives; the faraway phone-line crackle of Sian's; the eternal wisdom and soft bosom of Great-Grandmother Ba; the perils of first love, lost innocence, and old age; and the big question: What do you do with the space your loved ones leave behind?
Tishani Doshi, a prizewinning poet, plunges into fiction for the first time with this tender and uplifting debut. With rich feeling and dazzling language, Doshi evokes both Zadie Smith and Rohinton Mistry as she captures the quirks and calamities of one unusual clan in a story of identity, family, belonging, and all-transcending love.
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