The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai

An entirely fortuitous loan from the library, I had no idea that the setting for this novel would be so close to where I ended up reading it – the foothills of the Himalaya – albeit in Sikkim rather than Bhutan, where I was.

Set in the 1980s there’s a big cast, with most characters carrying on their post-colonial lives in and around Kalimpong, close to India’s border with Nepal. Despite their best efforts, the modern world manages to intrude quite cruelly – both in the person of Biju (who makes it to America to find that the streets are not paved with gold particularly for illegal immigrants) and in the Gorkha independence uprising (which inevitably turns from idealism to self aggrandisement). The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai