Set in pre-Partition Lahore, from the turn of the century to the time of Independence, this is the story of two women, both strong and willing to challenge the limits of the acceptable, but in their own way and under very different circumstances.
Harjeet, belonging to a well-respected landlord family of Punjab, is married to Gautam, from an equally prominent Khatri family of Lahore. Deeply dissatisfied with her life, Harjeet enters into a passionate affair with Haider, a Muslim. The book explores their relationship against the backdrop of the growing Hindu-Muslim divide, and the politically turbulent times they are living in.
The other protagonist, Amiya, born out of wedlock to a British army officer and a Brahmin girl, is married at nineteen to Ishwar Chand, a clerk at the postal department in Lahore. The narrative follows her troubled marriage, and struggle to become financially independent, her coming of age as a writer, and the unlikely friendship she develops with Gautam. It chronicles the choices she must make, and the secret she must live with.
Author Anuradha Jain offers a powerful account of desire, love, society and politics, and takes a probing look at the struggles and aspirations of a nation and its people.