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A perfect summer read

books Updated: Jul 17, 2010 01:12 IST
Priyanka Sinha
Priyanka Sinha
Hindustan Times
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Award-winning poet and acclaimed non-fiction writer Ruth Padel’s first novel is an extraordinary piece of work set in England and India.

Padel, incidentally the great-great-grand daughter of Charles Darwin, explores the themes of love, infidelity and greed.

Her protagonist, Rosamund, the estranged daughter of Keller, a herpetologist in India, is trapped in a loveless marriage in London. Fed up, she travels to India only to return to a London altered by the 2005 terrorist attacks.

Padel’s descriptions of life are sharp yet poetic. However, sometimes, the excess of similes detract you from the otherwise elegant prose.

The contrasting settings — the tropical forests of India and the cities of Devon and London — are described evocatively, making the novel a perfect summer time read.