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This book tells the story of a mother and daughter who have never understood each other. The mother, Rose, had a unique childhood growing up British in Northern India. The local Indian children shunned her because she was white; the British children shunned her because her mannerisms were too Indian. After being sent to school in England and then working and marrying in the US, Rose has never felt that she belongs anywhere, except the place she least expects to find comfort.
Anna, Rose's daughter, grew up with a distant mother who had a mysterious past in a foreign place which was never spoken of. After Anna's trying divorce she decides to go to India for a while and disassociate herself from the life she is leaving behind. She has many adventures from 'adopting' and helping a beggar child, to dealing with a tragedy concerning a friendly English university student, to falling in love with a Israeli military man.
This is a story with as many twists and turns as a train ride up to Darjeeling, tea country. Everyone could relate or find interest in some part of this book.
When I went to India I took this book with me thinking that I would have plenty of time to read. I was wrong, but out of all of the books I have read on India this gave the most true-to-life impression of what it is like to be a tourist in India. Bacon accurately describes the rush of auto-rickshaws zooming down the road, not being able to understand the chatter of local people who sometimes make a point not to speak in English, and the wonderful hospitality of the Indian people.