A fascinating book, whose appeal is hard to describe. The story revolves around two figures, -- a father, who had made a life for himself alone, steeping himself in his work in an Indian agricultural school, pricking, memory continually with reminders of the life eight years back, when he had parted with the wife whom he'd ceased to trust, to respect, but had never learned to hate; and a daughter, homely, awkward in her adolescent insecurity, eager to establish contact with the father she scarcely remembered, when the war drove her mother to take the two children back to India, to the man she had left. Below a surface of tension and coldness a volcano seethed. But it took successive minor tragedies, the unnecessary death of a beloved dog, the misunderstanding of a highborn native student, to bring it into eruption. And then -- once again, life seemed irreparably broken, understandings forever made impossible. The book ends on a note of uncertainty -- but of hope. The book is not easy reading; much of the story is learned by indirection; but it is absorbing, and as original, though not as beautiful, as Black Narcissus.