By Thalassa Ali
Set in nineteenth-century British India, Thalassa Ali’s awesome debut, A Singular Hostage, brought us to Mariana Givens, the Englishwoman who risked every thing to avoid wasting a tender Indian orphan from convinced dying. Now Ali returns to that unique state past the northwestern frontier, the place Mariana will come face-to-face with a unique destiny.
Two years have handed on account that Mariana left the walled urban of Lahore. yet she’s not able to overlook its haunting smell of roses or her ill-fated marriage to a native-born husband that has scandalized Calcutta society and made her an outcast one of the English. Worse nonetheless, she bears the data that she is going to be pressured to renounce Saboor—the boy believed to be endowed with magical presents whose existence she risked her personal to save.
Now Mariana needs to revisit Lahore to come back Saboor to his kinfolk and request a divorce from Hassan Ali Khan. yet how can she say goodbye to the enigmatic guy whose love defied cultures—or the kid she’s enjoyed as her personal? As political and civil strife threaten to erupt in violence, she seeks solutions in an international no Englishwoman has ever visible. And she’s pushed ever toward a mystery so strong that it'll swap her life—and the lives of these she loves—forever.
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Additional info for A Beggar at the Gate
Seeing her terror and exhaustion, Saboor's father had spared her himself. Go to sleep. June 23, 1840 The walled city of Lahore had always smelled of roses. Discernible even in the cool winters, the scent turned impenetrable in the still, baking heat of the Punjabi summer, filling the tiny, stifling shops that lined the city's narrow alleyways, rushing out of its many mosques and temples. Sometimes sweet and mysterious, often corrupted and rotten, the perfume reached into every quarter of the city, permeating everything: the food, the water, even the offal swept into heaps in the city's neglected corners.
The sharp-faced girl nudged her friend. Now recovered, the dean began to quote the Acts of the Apostles, his florid voice rising and falling. Below his pulpit, Mariana sat erect, giving no outward sign of discomfort as her mind wandered to the message she had received the previous March from the mysterious pointing man. He had spoken with urgent authority, but Mariana could not fathom what he had meant. What destiny could possibly await her in the direction he had pointed? She blinked. Could the man's message have had anything to do with the poem her old teacher had given her to translate on the day before he began the long journey home to his native Punjab?
Once on her feet, avoiding her mother-in-law, who snored on the hovel's only string bed, she had groped along the wall until she found the older woman's chador hanging from its nail, then felt her way out of the crumbling quarter that had been her prison for three long years. Following her instincts, she had stumbled along the lightless alleyway outside the door, powered only by a chance remark she had overheard the week before from a passerby outside: that in a house near Wazir Khan's Mosque there lived a woman who knew how to cast spells.