I have a real problem with rating this book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautifully written tale of a family tragedy. The tale of a love that cannot be is a bit of a cliche but I’ve always said that things only become cliche because they’re true. The characters are well formed and I formed strong feelings of like/dislike for each of them. The language is beautiful and so descriptive that I was transported from my window seat in rainy Wales to the heat of India, the smell of a pickle factory heavy in the air while watching the wide, swollen river rushing past me to the sea.
The reason I find it hard to rate is that the story is so melancholy. I loved the writing but the story was so depressing, every time I turned a page I hoped that things would get better for at least one character but they never did, even after the Terror.
Instead you get a sad story told with beautiful words. A tale of domestic abuse, child abuse, misogyny, the Caste system and a brutal murder with no hope, love or happiness shining through the darkness at the end.