Review

This novel set in the immigrant Indian community in England, is both immediate and moving. It consists of two separate but linked themes which together symbolise the tensions and preoccupations of the community.
The first story revolves around Tekchand, the established leader of the Indian community in a small Midlands industrial town. Once a poor peasant from the Punjab, he is now a house owner and the possessor of a steady job with which to support his wife and four children. The factory where he works is the scene of an ugly extortion racket, operated by Harbans, himself an immigrant, who charges new arrival for 'introductions', and once they're employed, extorts further payments by threatening dismissal. An English shop steward joins with Tekchand to trying to stop Harban's activities, and together they try to persuade their co-workers to give evidence.
The second story concerns Tekchand's daughter, Leela, whose relationship, at first tentative, later loving, with a young Englishman brings to the surface age-old tensions and prejudices. The two stories, at first seemingly separate, fuse into a gripping finale.

UK- Macmillan; India - Macmillan.