Author(s): Alys Conran
'Beautiful' Claire Fuller, author of Bitter Orange
'Exquisite' Fiona McFarlane, author of The Night Guest
'Beguiling' Guinevere Glasfurd, 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. Confined to a wheelchair, her once spotless home crumbling around her, she gets through carers at a rate of knots.
Until Susheela arrives, bursting through the doors of Magda's house, carrying life with her: grief for her mother's recent death; worry for her father; longing for a beautiful and troubled young man.
The two women strike up an unlikely friendship: Magda's old-fashioned, no-nonsense attitude 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 resurrects the tragic figure of her mother, Evelyn, and her struggle to fit within the suffocating structure of the Raj's ruling class.
But as Magda digs deeper into her past, she unlocks a shocking legacy of blood that threatens to destroy the careful order she has imposed on her life - and that might just be the key to give the three women, Evelyn, Magda and Susheela, a place they can finally call home.