An extraordinarily rich debut novel, set in India at the time of Partition. Although the backdrop is this key event in Indian history, the novel is even more far-reaching, touching on the importance of tolerance, love and family. The central plot focuses on Bilau, a boy who is determined to protect his dying father from the realities of the unrest and upheaval on the eve of Partition - the riots, the bloodshed, the aggression. With great spirit and determination, Bilau persuades the whole of his village to collude with him in this deception, even going to the lengths of printing false pages of the newspaper to hide the ravages of unrest from his father, thus allowing his father to die at peace.

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