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A “psychologically acute and boldly plotted” tale of a wealthy, dysfunctional family in Malaysia (Booklist, starred review).
Set in Malaysia, this internationally acclaimed debut novel offers an unflinching look at relationships between parents and children, brothers and sisters, the wealthy and poor, a country and its citizens—all through the eyes of the prosperous Rajasekharan family.
When Chellam, the family’s rubber-plantation-bred servant girl, is dismissed for unnamed crimes, her banishment is the latest in a series of losses that have shaken six-year-old Aasha’s life. A few weeks before, Aasha’s grandmother Paati passed away under mysterious circumstances and her older sister, Uma, departed for Columbia University—leaving Aasha to cope with her mostly absent father, bitter mother, and imperturbable older brother.
Moving backward and forward in time, Evening Is the Whole Day explores the closely guarded secrets that haunt the Rajasekharans: What was Chellam’s unforgivable crime? Why was Uma so intent on leaving? What did Aasha see? And, underscoring all of these mysteries: What ultimately became of her father’s once-grand dreams for his family and his country?
“A delicious first novel . . . [Samarasan’s] ambitious, spiraling plot, her richly embroidered prose, her sense of place, and her psychological acuity are stunning.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A surpassingly wise and beautiful debut novel about the tragic consequences of the inability to love.” —Booklist, starred review
“The language bursts with energy.” —Publishers Weekly