One more touching story from the author of the haunting Glass Palace, Ghosh has made a true return to his roots. A touching and poignant story set in between the sea and plains of Bengal, on the easternmost coast of India where there lies an immense archipelago of islands. These are the famed Sunderbans, land of the Royal Bengal Tiger, crocodiles, enchanting fruits, mysteries and dolphins, and the immensely strong and struggling villlage people. This book deals with a gamut of emotions expressed alongside the beautiful landscape, with it's deltas, rivers, lagoons, hamlets and it is all sea and sea! The pathos, mystery and longing of true Bengal comes out in its true avatar aptly represented by the author. Piyali Roy an American of Indian parentage arrives in pursuit of rare river dolphins and hires Fokir an illiterate fisherman as her guide and rower and takes along Kanai Dutt a Delhi linguistic businessman, wowed by her charm as translator. It is Piyali's story through her eyes, her grievances, her pursuit, her struggles, her warm relationship with Fokir, that unspoken love, those calamities, risks to life, hangings close to death, kanai, mashima, family feeling..........it can go on and on. It is Kanai's story here at his grandmother or Mashima's behest.
Mashima, a legend in Lusibari for her hospital and other work, has invited her grandson to deliver to him letters of his late radical grandfather written specially for him, who died mysteriously. Kanai tries to investigate. It is also about Fokir, about Kusum, about Horen, the local legend of Bonbibi, the thousands of stories that unfold mysteriously as deep, sinister and binding as the depths of the Padma. And herein lies Ghosh's real power: to captivate readers with his terrific description of the Sunderbans and the thread binding them all, Kanai, Kusum, Fokir, Horen, Mashima, Kanai's Grandfather and Piyali. There is a strong quest for truth, for discovery at many levels in this story, leaving readers with bated breath and suspense for the outcome of the numerous incidents and interconnected stories. What happens at last? That is the exciting question. In all, a must read for all book lovers, as this book will take you to a different plane altogether.