In the title story, woven with social satire and melodrama, an itinerant entertainer becomes a well-known singer, eventually coming back to her Lucknow roots in a subdued, melancholy ending. A cast of characters entertain themselves with gossip and adultery in the lush tranquility of the tea gardens of East Bengal. At the center is a mercurial, identity-changing adventuress, one who often appears in Hyder’s fiction. Another is the memorable Eurasian, Catherine Bolton, who escapes her roots to achieve social success.
This versatile writer takes imaginative native flight in unusual stories spanning decades, or even centuries. Her arsenal of techniques takes us to the place most important to her, the human heart in all its varied seasons.