Blending historical events with the lives of a captivating cast of fictional characters, this ambitious novel opens in 1885 during the British invasion of Burma. Young Rajkumar, an Indian orphan abandoned in Mandalay, drifts through the city during the takeover. As the British invaders send the Burmese royal family into exile, he spots Dolly, a pretty servant girl who waits on the queen. Smitten, the boy vows to find her again. Years later, Rajukumar - a wealthy businessman - searches for Dolly in India, where she has become manager of the royal household. When the two finally meet, their reunion is a fateful one. Together, they forge friendships and raise a family against a backdrop of political intrigue and conflict. Ghosh, who captures the spirit of the Indian subcontinent as well as the arrogance of the colonizing British, writes with authority. Spanning more than 100 years, this is an old-fashioned epic of love and war. A reading group guide is included the book.