A fine piece of work, and an unusual one. Somehow, it bears none of the earmarks of Bromfield, so don't count on it as a readymade piece of merchandise for the Bromfield fans who have come to expect suave, craftsmanlike novels, drawing room pieces, et al. This strikes us as the most important novel he has done since his early rocket-like success. It is over-long, but one's interest does not flag. In the picture of the English-speaking community in an Indian town, it inevitably invites comparison -- and favorable comparison -- with Kipling at his most astute. The story revolves primarily around one Ransome, a ""younger son"", dissipated, disillusioned -- a worldly woman who had been his mistress, briefly, many years before she became Lady Esketh -- a missionary's daughter, who found herself in loving Ransome and in escaping the unrealities her ambitious mother imposed upon her. ""The Rains Came"" -- earthquake, flood, death, plague, and brought rebirth to almost everyone who survived it... The material appeared in greatly abbreviated form under the title Bitter Lotus. A book for those who like a dramatic and well-told story, with a certain phase of social consciousness as underlying motive, and a vivid picture of modern India.