When Polly’s husband is jailed for paedophilia, she flees the village where her grandmother raised her and travels to India where she stays with her friend, Amanda.
Polly is appalled by the poverty, and what her husband had done, and her guilt drives her to help the street children of Kolkata. It’s while working she meets other volunteers, Liam and Finlay. Her days are divided between teaching the children and helping with their health needs. But when Liam’s successor refuses to let Polly continue working, she’s devastated to think the children will feel she’s abandoned them.
After a health scare of her own, she discovers her friend, Amanda, is pregnant. Amanda leaves India to have her child. At this time Polly and Finlay fall in love and work together helping the children. Tragedy strikes when one child is found beaten and another dead. Polly feels history repeating itself when Finlay becomes emotionally attached to a young girl.
Can Polly recover from her broken heart and continue to help the children, or will she give up and return home?
This is my review:
I devour Dianne Noble's books about India. I admit I have a penchant for reading anything about the slums and the caste systems of India and have read most of the famous authors on this subject: A God of Small Things, A Suitable Boy, City of Joy, Heat and Dust.... Ms Noble's novels could stand proudly up there on the book shelves alongside these novels.
Her observation skills are second to none. Her characters become friends, they're so real. The reader sees the very worst of Kolkata slums through Polly's eyes and we admire her courage and strength in needing to help the orphaned or poverty stricken children. But it's not only the characters, the author conjures up the horrors as well as the joys that meet Polly. She is so brave - and I wish I could be the same (but I have an inkling that Dianne Noble IS that brave).
Another excellent book. It's about time Ms. Noble's name was published alongside the greats.