The Bureau of Second Chances

By Sheena Kalayil

Format: Paperback

Availability: In stock

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

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After more than thirty years in London, recently widowed Thomas Imbalil returns to India.  He spends his first months in uncluttered isolation in his house overlooking the Arabian Sea, in a small village in Kerala.  But when he agrees to look after his friend's optical store, he meets and befriends Rani, the young assistant.  Before long he discovers that Rani is using the store to run an intriguing side-business.  He agrees to turn a blind eye, but the discovery has made him restless, and reminds him of the lonliness he is feeling and which lies ahead of him.  Rani also reveals herself as a much more complex individual than he had first imagined, and while he had envisaged a quiet reacquaintance with his homeland, Thomas finds himself becoming more and more entangled with the lives of those around him. 

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 8 Jun 2017
ISBN 9781846973925
Number of Pages 320

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Press Reviews

'Sheena Kalayil's first novel shows an almost preternatural skill and power. This quiet story becomes a compelling page-turner'

'A bittersweet, uplifting tone makes it impossible to put down … Kalayil writes beautifully, painting colourful portraits of her characters and managing her story's unexpected twists with aplomb'

'There is plenty of light, with passages that will make you smile, but it has its share of darkness, touching on caste and social expectations in India, as well as reflections on marriage, illness and parenting ... I raced through the last third of the book on the edge of my seat, desperate to know how it turned out'

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