A sweeping story of a multi-generational Indian family near Madras: a mean-spirited mother of two, a spinster daughter aged 42 and the older brother Sripathi who is the major figure in this story. Sripathi is married with a stay-at-home son and an estranged daughter living in Vancouver. Sripathi is angry is angry with life: his job; corruption in India; but his major disappointment is his family relationships, in particular his daughter who defied him by rejecting an arranged marriage. All live in a single big house that is decaying literally. A very important element in this book is dealing with change, their declining standard of living. When their estranged daughter is killed in a traffic accident, the 7-year-old grand-daughter (who they have never met) comes to live with them, a fourth generation, forcing them to cope (poorly) with even more change. This is a very fine book about India.