It is Anahita’s 100th birthday. Â She has decided to pass on a handwritten story of her early life to her great-grandson in hope that he’ll find the answer to a mystery that has haunted her for 70 years. Her daughter thinks she is crazy to think that her son is still alive. Â They have his death certificate. Â But Anahita is convinced that she would have known if he died.
Anahita was born in India to a high caste but poor family. Â Her scholar father encouraged her to learn and explore. Â Her mystical mother encouraged her to be attuned to the mysteries around her. Â When her father died her mother accepted an offer from her cousin the Mararajah to live in the women’s quarters of her palace. Â This constrained life didn’t suit Anahita. Â Soon though she was chosen to be a companion to Princess Indira who she met on a trip. Â When Indira is sent to boarding school in England Anahita goes along.
Anahita applies herself to school. Â Indira does not and their lives start to drift. Â When Anahita decides to stay in England and continue her education they part. But Anahita is pulled back into Indira’s orbit whenever there is a crisis in the Princess’ life.
This novel alternates between Anahita’s story and the present day when a movie is being filmed at a run down English country house where Anahita used to live. Â This helps contrast the viewpoints of the aristrocratic English family who lived there and Anahita’s versions of events.
I really loved this book and highly recommend it.