The country is ablaze with riots.
In Lucknow, ten-year-old Shubhankar witnesses a terrible act of mob violence that will alter the course of his life: one to which his family turn a blind eye.
As he approaches adulthood, Shabby focuses on the only path he believes will buy him an escape – good school, good degree, good job, good car.
But when he arrives in Mumbai in his twenties, he begins to question whether there might be other roads he could choose.
His new friends, Syed and Shruti, are asking the same questions : together, buoyed by the freedom of the big city, they are rewriting their stories.
But as the rising tide of nationalism sweeps across the country, and their friendship becomes the rock they all cling to, this new life suddenly seems fragile.
And before Shabby can chart his way forward, he must reckon with the ghosts of his past…
‘Bhattacharya has the enviable ability to create a cast of characters that feel as real as any person I’ve met. His effortless writing sings on the page, and by the time you get to the end, you’ll wish you didn’t have to leave his mind so soon’ – Kasim Ali
‘Whilst the plot turns on our capacity for cruelty, Bhattacharya’s book brims with compassion. A novel about the complexities of adulthood, and the shame we all carry, that is both fearless and kind’ – Clare Pollard
‘A joy to read, a full universe of feeling, an effortless page-turner by a born storyteller’ – Max Porter
‘Devastating and intimate, and political and radical all at the same time. Bhattacharya’s storytelling talents are limitless’ – Nikesh Shukla
‘Exceptional…you have complete faith that Bhattacharya will take you to all the right places. Heartbreaking and yet so full of hope’ – Melody Razak