The second novel in The Raj Quartet: the arrest by British police of Mohammed Ali Kasim, who is known to sympathise with the Quit India movement, signifies a further deterioration in Anglo-India relations.
For families such as the Laytons, who have lived and served in India for generations, the immediate social and political realities are both disturbing and tragic. With growing confusion and bewilderment, the British are forced to confront the violent and often brutal years that lie ahead.
“Quite simply, monumental.” (The Washington Post)
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Timeless classic, disastrous narrator choice
Enthralling story of the British Raj in India
While I love all four volumes of The Raj Quartet, the introduction of the Layton's in this second volume adds enormously to the breadth and depth of the saga. Paul Scott's writing is exquisite and Richard Brown brings it to life...I truly feel in the midst of the story as I listen.
In particular I find Sarah Leyton to be one of the most compelling figures of English literature. She is uncomfortable with the aristoratic role of her family and the British ruling class and questions the role of Britain in India, just as the life of the British Raj is winding down. She is ever bit as thoughtful as Daphne Manners in the first volume (The Jewel in the Crown), but elects to be more conventional at times. Yet I admire her inner life and feel her frustrations in dealing with her sister and mother.
I can only say that I have re-listened to this book and the other three in the Raj Quartet too many times to count. I will keep coming back to the narration of this gem of a novel.