The novel tells the story of a wealthy family of Indian extraction living in Malaysia. As various different aspects of and perspectives on the family's story are explored, the novel also highlights the cultural, historical and political context in which the events took place.
I thought that the story of the family was interesting in itself. The characters were really fleshed out and complex, and even at the end of the novel there was still no firm division between "good" and "bad" characters.
Before I read this book I didn't know that much about the history or racial politics of that particular part of Asia, and while I don't think that reading one book turns someone into an expert, I do think that I have a better, more complex understanding of certain aspects of another culture.
The writing style was really beautiful, and I really enjoyed the way it was written. It may have lagged a bit in a few places, but it was great overall.
Chance of finding it in my imaginary bookstore? 85%