Blaise and Mary arrive at Patna Hall, a hotel on India’s shimmering Coromandel coast, to spend part of their honeymoon. Patna Hall is as beautiful and timeless as India itself, ruled over firmly and wise by proprietor Auntie Sanni. For Mary it feels strangely like home.
In a week that will change the young couple’s destiny, election fever grips the Southern Indian state and Mary falls under the spell of the people, the country – and Krishnan, godlike candidate for the Root and Flower party . . .
‘A sense of timelessness reminiscent of E.M. Forster . . . social comedy slowly spirals into personal tragedy’ The Times
‘The prose is as simple and luminous as the fantasy it elaborates . . . an interlude of exoticism and sensuous pleasure’ Independent on Sunday
‘Sheer enjoyment’ Guardian
‘The miracle of this book is Godden’s genius for storytelling’ Evening Standard