Author: Karen Roberts
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0670888680
This is a deeply moving and beautifully written novel - enchanting, full of warmth, rich in atmosphere and utterly satisfying.
It rained the day Lizzie was born. Not the gentle benediction God showers on new-born babies, but a screaming, sheeting downpour that turned the neatly mowed lawns into squelching seas of mud. The rain god was angry.
Lizzie Buckwater is born on a stormy night into a household nestled in the lush tea estates of 1930s Ceylon. As Chandi, a little servant-boy in the bungalow plays in the mud outside on his fourth birthday he promises himself that the English baby will become his best friend. He christens her Rose-Lezzie after the flowers he loves and soon forges the important friendship of his life.
When Rose-Lizzie's embittered mother deserts her family to return to England a great closeness is formed between her fair-minded and gentle father and Premawathi, Chandi's overworked mother who runs the house. Their affection sets in motion the first tragedy of the story, and the secrecy and complications implicit in the two families relationship become clear. As time passes, the political atmosphere in Ceylon degenerates into heightened local discontentment with British rule, and Chandi and Rose-Lizzie's peaceful world is rocked by political and emotional turmoil.