In 1950s Bengal, Henna Rub, a precocious, wayward teenager, brings off a brilliant marriage to a wealthy romantic, Ricky Karim, trapping him with a web of lies that she has spun with her wheeler-dealer father. And so on his wedding night, believing himself married to an educated, sonnet-reading, tennis-playing soul mate, Ricky is horrified to discover that his new bride is in fact a lazy, illiterate, shopkeeper's daughter. As Ricky and Henna uneasily tolerate their loveless marriage of convenience, the way is paved for a future of double-lives and complicit deception - an unspoken family tradition that is inherited by their daughter Shona, who elopes with her secret love to live above a subcontinental sweetshop in 1980s South London. But two decades later, with her own children grown, it is Shona who is forced to discover unpalatable truths about her loved ones, and come to terms with the lies which superficially hold the three generations of her family together . . . and which are really keeping them apart.
Roopa Farooki was born in Lahore in Pakistan, and brought up in London. She graduated from New College, Oxford in 1995 and worked in advertising before turning to write fiction. Roopa now lives in North London and South West France with her husband and son. Bitter Sweets is her first novel.