THE SUNDAY TIMES NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2020
From the prize-winning author of West, a collision between old and new, east and west, in a former British hill station in contemporary South India.
‘A compelling read. Carys Davies has an amazing gift‘
– Penelope Lively
Fleeing the dark undercurrents of contemporary life in Britain, Hilary Byrd takes refuge in Ooty, a hill station in South India. There he finds solace in life’s simple pleasures, travelling by rickshaw around the small town with his driver Jamshed and staying in a mission house beside the local presbytery where the Padre and his adoptive daughter Priscilla have taken Hilary under their wing.
The Padre is concerned for Priscilla’s future, and as Hilary’s friendship with the young woman grows, he begins to wonder whether his purpose lies in this new relationship. But religious tensions are brewing and the mission house may not be the safe haven it seems.
The Mission House boldly and imaginatively explores post-colonial ideas in a world fractured between faith and non-belief, young and old, imperial past and nationalistic present. Tenderly subversive and meticulously crafted, it is a deeply human fable of the wonders and terrors of connection in a modern world.
– the Daily Mail
‘An absolute triumph‘
– Cynan Jones
‘Subtle with nuance and alive with immediacy‘
– the Sunday Times
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