A novel by the author of Ice-Candy-Man Zaitoon, a new bride, is desperately unhappy in her marriage and is contemplating the ultimate escape, “the one from which there is no return. Zaitoon, an orphan, is adopted by Qasim, who has left the isolated hill town where he was born and made a home for the two of them in the glittering, decadent city of Lahore. As the years pass, Qasim makes a fortune but grows increasingly nostalgic about his life in the mountains. Impulsively, he promises Zaitoon in marriage to a man of his tribe. But for Zaitoon, giving up the civilized city life she remembers to become the bride of this hard, inscrutable husband proves traumatic to the point where she decides to run away, though she knows that by the tribal code the punishment for such an act is death. Sidhwa shows a marvellous feel for imagery”at a breathless pace she weaves her exotic cliffhanger from passion, power, lust, sensuality, cruelty and murder.

Weight 0.25 kg