Atonement comes to Malaysia in this masterfully constructed tale of the prosperous Rajasekharan family. One unbearably hot September morning, the family's servant girl, Chellam, is sent packing as a result of an unnamed crime. In her wake, she leaves Aasha, a six-year-old girl haunted by ghosts, who has recently suffered two additional losses: the departure of her older sister to college in the United States, and the death of her grandmother.
Circling back and forth through time to reveal the history of a family and a land divided, Evening Is the Whole Day tracks the fortunes of one Indian immigrant family, and the secrets and lies that bind them together and force them apart. It also illuminates the span of a life -- a life that acquires weight and momentum and becomes much more than a series of distractions and misfortunes; a life that holds out the possibility that anything can happen.
In her first novel, Samarasan displays a prodigious gift for lyrical narration, complex characterization, and dramatic breadth of vision. (Fall 2008 Selection)