'THE inheritance of loss' by Kiran Desai is a well-crafted and engaging piece of fiction.
The narrative unfolds in Kalimpong, a small hill station between Siliguri and Gangtok offering excellent views of the Mt Kanchenganga.
A retired judge resides in an isolated house looking for peace when he is joined by his orphaned granddaughter, Sai. The Judge's cook looks after her. He is also troubled by the thoughts of his only son, Biju, who's struggling in US for a permanent job and a search for a green card. Sai's equation with her teacher changes when an Indian-Nepali insurgency brings out their conflicting interests.
The writer manages to intertwines Biju's search for livelihood and his self-discovery with the Judge's journey in his difficult past. The cook is the common thread in these two separate stories.
The minor characters too stand out and that speaks for the author's detailed narrative. Her description of the local landscape is refreshing.
The novel is a good commentary on the lives of illegal immigrants and colonialism. A fine work of fiction indeed!