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A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, we are taken into the richly imagined world of four large extended families. A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux, the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence.