The love triangle plot, a beautiful woman torn between a predictable, safe suitor and an alluring "bad boy", is probably as old as stories themselves. Such a love triangle is at the center of Mandanna's novel, but although her expansive plot centers on a potentially shopworn conflict, this talented debut novelist continually defies expectations and enriches context to create a powerful story that seems both fresh and timeless.
For one thing, Mandanna skillfully arouses sympathy not only for Devi, the lovely young woman at the triangle's apex, but also for her lovers, the tiger hunter Machu and, particularly, the quietly thoughtful Devanna. Devanna, a shy boy, brought under the wing of a German missionary with complicated motives, finds himself terrorized at medical college, surviving only by virtue of his devotion to his studies and his abiding love for his childhood friend ...
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