Mehar, a young bride in rural Punjab, is trying to discover the identity of her new husband. It is 1929, and she and her sisters-in-law, married to three brothers in a single ceremony, spend their days hard at work on the family farm, sequestered from contact with the men.
When Mehar develops a theory as to which of them is hers, a passion is ignited that will put more than one life at risk.
Spiralling around Mehar's story is that of a young man who in 1999 travels from England to the sun-scorched farm, by now deserted for decades. In enforced flight from the traumas of his adolescence — his experiences of addiction, racism and estrangement from the culture of his birth — he spends a summer in painful contemplation and recovery, finally gathering the strength to return home.
Inspired in part by the author's family history, and told with courage, compassion and deep humanity, China Room is an astonishing feat of storytelling from one of our most exceptional novelists. (From Knopf Canada)