A stunning and sumptuous tale of the boundaries between love and hate, truth and deception, set against the anticipation for the Kumbh Mela: the biggest festival in India.
When Mia, acutely depressed by the suicide of her artist father, meets Karna, a young and mesmeric guru who bears a startling resemblance to a figure in her father's painting, she feels compelled to follow him all the way from London to India. And if marrying Vik, the suave businessman her mother so approves of, is the way to get there, so be it.
Once in India, Mia learns about Vik's mother, Indi. She is a figure of great power, inordinately beautiful and gifted, but blind. Her rage ensnares and yet rejects anyone who tries to come close. Mia must travel to the Kumbh Mela, the festival on the banks of the Ganges, to make sense of everything: her own confused love for two men, Indi's anguish, her own family's history. And yet when she arrives, nothing is as she thought it would be; through a change in perspective, she comes to realise the limitations of vision...
This is a remarkable tale of hope, destruction and ultimately of rebirth, as one young woman explores the shifting sands of illusion and truth.
Sagarika Ghose went to St Stephen's College in New Delhi before winning a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford, where she gained an MA and M Phil. She has been a journalist for sixteen years, reporting extensively on Indian elections, politics and society as well as travelling and reporting in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Her first novel,The Gin Drinkers, was published to critical acclaim in 2000. She is currently senior editor and prime-time news anchor on the news channel CNN IBN. She lives in New Delhi.