The foothills of the Himalayas is just the right setting for this story - and the perfect location for Maya to grieve for her husband, cruelly taken from her by the mountains he loved. Village customs and life and quirky characters are conveyed really well throughout and the twist at the end is something I didn't expect and did actually make me gasp! It just goes to show you that appearances can be deceptive.
Diwan Sahib looked royal: his worn, brown dressing gown was his robe, and the woollen cap Charu had knitted for him his crown, while his immense height, his great age, and the whiteness of his hair and beard made everyone around him deferential. In the morning, if he was in a good temper, he allowed entry to visitors, and in summer they were frequent. Apart from Mr Qureshi and the elderly General who lived on the next estate, scholars of Indian history and wildlife made the long journey by train and road up from the plains to meet him and ask him questions about he pricely state of Surajgarh. Where the Nawab had wanted Surajgarh to become a part of Pakistan at Partition, Diwan Sahib had opposed it, even getting into clandestine negotiations with political high-ups in Delhi to make sure Sarajgarh fell to India's share. Eventually he was jailed by the Nawab for teason. He described this as 'enjoying the hospitality of the Nawab'.