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Harbeer is a tormented man. His wife has left him and, even though she is lost, pays him secret visits. His younger son, Narain, is dismissed from the army under suspicion of homosexuality, so Harbeer sends him off to study in an American college. Desparately trying to adjust in an alien and often hostile environment, Narain battles homesickness, determined to fit right in. However, he is called home to care for his wild and reckless younger sister, the conservative Gurdev, married, with three daughters, tries to adapt to changing Singapore. Then, one night, Amrit disappears, only to return a different person. Balli Kaur Jaswal's award-winning first novel is a tender yet powerful depiction of mental illness. Set in Singapore, spanning two decades, it is also a poignant, unsparing portrait of a family struggling to preserve tradition in the face of an ever-changing nation.