In the aftermath of the Bangladesh war of independence with Pakistan in 1971, a brother and sister seek to re-establish their former relationship but what they have seen and done during the war has fundamentally changed them. All the characters are really well drawn and it's easy to become totally absorbed in their fate and that of their new country. The middle volume of a trilogy which starts with 'A Golden Age' but works as a stand-alone read.
Zaid came and went. Maya sometimes found him squatting in the flowerbeds, picking insects out of the weeds. His Bangla was coarse, his consonants slurred. And his body was a mess. A rash that peppered his skin caused him to scratch and bleed. There was a line of small indentations on his forearm, dirt in every crease and ripple of him. He was six but looked about four, his wrists and ankles narrow, brittle. He wore identical, pale blue kurtas that were too small or too big, and a cap on his head, pushed back so that it circled his head like a crown.