OUTCAST by Dianne Noble
Rose leaves her Cornwall café to search for her daughter in the sweltering slums of Kolkata, India.
In the daily struggle for survival, she is often brought to her knees, but finds strength to overcome the poverty and disease, grows to love the Dalit community she helps.
But then there are deaths, and she fears for her own safety.
Her café at home is at risk of being torched, and finally, she has to make the terrible choice between her daughter and the Indian children.
If you enjoy literature about India, then this is for you. I adored such books as City of Joy by Dominique La Pierre, and Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Outcast by Dianne Noble is another one joining my bookshelf of fabulous books.
Ms Noble writes with such ease and, without clogging up the text with deep descriptions, manages to take the reader right into the heart of the Dalit community (also known as the Untouchables) so that I felt, for the last couple of days while "devouring" this book, that I was there too smelling the stench, watching the families living in poverty between two barriers in the middle of a motorway and melting at the sight of a rare smile from the children who are just happy to survive another day. The joy of the book is the enthusiasm with which these people have learning to speak English with Rose, the main character.
There are a couple of sub-plots which are essential to the main story and which are neatly tied up at the end, leaving me completely satisfied that I've read a truly stimulating book. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Noble.