When the Rajasekharan family's servant girl is dismissed for unnamed crimes, it is only the latest in a series of precipitous losses that have shaken six-year-old Aasha's life on their Malaysian rubber plantation. Following her grandmother passing away under mysterious circumstances and her sister leaving for Columbia University, Aasha is left with only a ghost to talk to, in a family—and a country—slowly going to pieces.
"A delicious first novel...Samarasan's fabric is gorgeous. Her ambitious spiraling plot, her richly embroidered prose, her sense of place, and her psychological acuity are stunning. Readers, responding to the setting, will immediately compare her to Kiran Desai. I think Smarasan's dialogue and description are reminiscent of Eudora Welty, another woman who knew how to write about family and race and class and secrets and heat."—NYTBR