THIS TIME OF MORNING by Nayantara Sahgal
Kirkus Star


Email this review


Set in present day India this highly articulate novel operates on two levels. It deals with the new kind of life which has been created in India since the departure of British rule and with the fortunes of several modern Indians who must work out their destinies within a framework of shifting ideas and customs. Events are seen in good part through the eyes of Rakesh, a young foreign service officer who returns to Delhi after an absence of six years and finds himself caught up in the internecine struggle for power which the operation of a government makes necessary. Primarily the conflict centers around two men who both represent in legitimate forces in the emerging nation. On the one hand there is Kailas Vrind who belongs to the generation that succumbed to the magic of Gandhi."" His approach is basically a humanist one and his go-slowly policy is abjured by the most dominant and interesting character in the book, Kalyan Sinha, who rose from poverty and obscurity to become the head of the delegation at the U.N. and the Prime Minister's most vocal representative. Eventually Kalyan's haste to push his nation forward involves him in a misalliance with corrupt elements and brings about his political downfall. In the meantime other stories are related- of domestic and social conflict, of educated young women who refuse to live as their mothers did, and of the young intellectuals, schooled in England and America, who find it difficult to apply their ideas in the country which nurtured them. This Time of Morning is a rich full novel and the author handles a difficult objective well. It seems almost inevitable however, that against such a complex background, the characters would be more interesting for the ideas they represent than for themselves.

Publisher: Norton