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2010, 433 pages
Samrat Upadhyay's story begins with the abandonment of an infant and suicide of his mother. We are introduced to the rough life of the poor on the streets of Kathmandu in 1962. A homeless man discovers the baby and brings him to a poor woman who sells roasted corn in the street market. Reluctantly at first, the woman, Kaki, cares for and grows to love this child whom she names Raja.
Kaki is offered work in a middle-class household along with the chance for education for her bright but unschooled foundling. She accepts the offer, but loses the love of Raja to the mentally ill woman of the house. Kaki attempts to break this bond by accepting another household position elsewhere, establishing a relationship that forms the foundation of the novel.
In this well-to-do household, the daughter, Nilu, and Raja become good friends. Changes in circumstance estrange them for years, but eventually they reunite romantically and marry.
The multigenerational story is told against the backdrop of decades of political and cultural change in Nepal and the Western world. Though the culture differs from American culture, the difficulties and challenges of marriage and families are familiar.