Uma, the plain, spinster daughter of a close-knit Indian family, is trapped at home, smothered by her overbearing parents and their traditions, unlike her ambitious younger sister Aruna, who brings off a 'good' marriage, and brother Arun, the disappointing son and heir who is studying in America. Across the world in Massachusetts, life with the Patton family is bewildering for Arun in the alien culture of freedom, freezers and paradoxically self-denying self-indulgence.
"Desai has a wicked, subtle humour...and her characters are beautifully described... Her writing is polished and mature, with a wit she cleverly underplays" Daily Telegraph
"Desai is more than smart; she's an undeniable genius." Washington Post