'Masud Alam has lived in Australia for the past 30 of his 53 years. Now his father, Abba, is dying, drifting in a haze of Alzheimer's, and Masud has returned to Bangladesh to say goodbye and to reconnect with his family.
'Unmarried, he instantly becomes the focus of his mother's match-making, which involves a local woman, Alya, who runs a factory providing jobs for rural women in a nearby village. He also begins to realise how far his family's fortunes have fallen, and how hard his brother Zia has had to work to keep them all afloat.
'As Masud reacquaints himself with his family and with Bangladesh, he realises how little he really knows them. Haunted by his own experiences as a soldier in Bangladesh's war of independence, he is surprised by the shifting, complex attitudes of his old friends and neighbours. He also discovers some family secrets, when a chance remark by his father prompts him to examine some old family papers.
'But most disturbing of all are the secrets of his young nephew, Omar, recently returned from America with a quiet steeliness in his gaze ...' (Publisher's blurb)