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A compelling glimpse into a captivatingly exotic world of myth and magic.

Beguiled by promises of wealth, fourteen-year-old Lakshmi leaves her native Ceylon for Malaya and marriage to a man many years her senior. But Ayah has lied to her and her family about his circumstances and in fact he lives in poverty. A woman of formidable energy and intelligence, Lakshmi provides security, if not luxury, for her family, though at a considerable emotional cost. Then the Japanese army invades during WWII.

The family bears deep scars and inflicts those wounds on the next generation. But in Nisha, Lakshmi’s great-granddaughter, it is as if Fate has come full circle . . .


It would be difficult not to be seduced by . . . the intriguing mixture of myth, religion and superstition . . . there is a freedom and freshness in the manner in which the author explores the interior life of her characters whose idiosyncrasies and many failings are sympathetically and sometimes humorously observed . . . It possesses a genuine intimacy and passionate involvement.
Elizabeth Buchan, <i>Times Play</i>
You'll struggle to find a more powerful, moving read this year.
Emotionally satisfying, complex books like this are harder to find.
I simply didn't want it to end . . . The characters themselves, with their resolute individualism, ultimately seem larger than either the superbly drawn historical background or the novel's exotic setting
<i>Image Magazine</i>
A vivid storyteller . . . Unfolding over four generations like a Greek tragedy, it's a compulsive and often harrowing tale.
<i>In Style</i>
Echoes of Memoirs of a Geisha in this exotic family saga
<i>Daily Mirror</i>
<i>Sunday Mirror</i>
Drips with local colour . . . wonderful.
<i>Daily Mail</i>
A vividly atmospheric novel of tragedy, superstition, belief and hope.
<i>Woman & Home</i>
Rich in domestic detail essential for a convincing family saga . . . this novel transcends its genre . . . she has created a novel with its own strong flavour.
<i>Times Play</i>
You'll love Rani Manicka's first novel.
<i>New Woman</i>