Like many fictional characters who have experienced setbacks, Anjali Bose would love to reinvent her life. At nineteen, the green-eyed, youngest daughter of a Bengali couple flees her family after an attempt at arranged marriage results in violence. She subsequently protects herself from the emotional fallout by adopting her anglicized persona, "Angie," while shedding traces of her rural upbringing.
Arriving in Bangalore as the protogé of tutor Peter Champion, she soon takes up residence in the Raj-era Bagehot home, a boarding house for working women, where she finds difficulty befriending anyone. Events gradually overwhelm her - from the public ransacking and dismantlement of a colonial institution, a case of identity theft and a family member's death to a new romantic involvement - and Angie must depend on others to help her find her way through.
Although Mukherjee's work ...
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