The House of Blue Mangoes - David DavidarWeidenfeld & Nicolson, 2002, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Lightly rubbed at the corners of the wrappers.
From the cover: “This is a novel about two things: a family, and a village. The village, Chevathar, is set on the banks of India’s southernmost river, at the point where it flows into the Gulf of Mannar. It’s an idyllic setting, typical of villages on the Coromandel Coast. There are temples, a fort, a church (for, in this part of South India, many of the villagers are Christian), the big house where the Dorai family live, a beach, and groves of mango trees — the blue mangoes of the title.
The story begins in the last year of the nineteenth century with Solomon Dorai. As the headman of Chevathar, he is desperately trying to hold together the fraying ends of village life at a time of huge social and political unease. The spectre of caste unrest hangs about the South, threatening everything that Solomon holds dear — family, land, prosperity. When violence finally erupts, it takes Solomon, and the traditional structure of village life with it.
Three generations of Dorais come and go in the village by the sea, winning and losing the battle for Chevathar. There are Solomon’s sons, the dazzling athletic Aaron and the studious Daniel, both exiled by their father’s death but in different ways, both determined to make their mark on the world. And there is Daniel’s son, Kannan, cast out of the paradise that his father creates on the bones of the old Chevathar. Davidar has created an exuberant tale, set in a land of extremes, at a time of enormous historical change. The history of India ebbs and flows with the story of the Dorai family, their fortunes inevitably linked to it. The early struggles for independence, the emergence of Gandhi and the Congress Party, World War and finally the new India — the great events of the 20th century form the backdrop to the story of an extraordinary family.
This is David Davidar’s first novel. It’s vigorous and brilliantly coloured, teeming with a host of vibrant characters, and dominated by the sea and mountains and tree-bound landscape of the deep south of India.”