“Brutal and entirely believable, a gorgeous and haunting depiction of London and the real lives and memories of those unseen within it.” —Publishers Weekly
“A magnificent gem.” —Jennifer Croft, translator of Flights
A chance encounter on Portobello Road incites an unsettling, magnetic attraction between Mary, a seventy-five-year-old white British spinster, and Cub, a thirteen-year-old Jamaican boy from Brixton. Mary clings increasingly to phantoms as dementia overtakes her reality, latching on to Cub and channeling her remaining energy into their relationship. But their macabre romance comes to a horrific climax, as white supremacy, poverty, and class conflict explode on the streets of London.
Through exquisite juxtaposition, Ananda Devi uses alluring prose to confront the tensions of an increasingly nationalistic metropolis, and to examine the queasy nature of desire muddled with power.