Izzie: I have very little memory of the night Jaya was conceived. In the weeks and months that followed, the vague recollections I did have were so surreal and sexy that, had it not been for the gradual expansion of my waistline, I might have attributed them to some bizarre erotic dream. Now, almost twenty years on, even those hazy memories have faded; like ancient coffee-coloured photographs with gently curling edges, the specific detail is blurry and soft. Strangely however, a few snapshots from that evening have become imprinted on my mind in startlingly sharp focus. I remember a picture-perfect sunset, two empty bottles of Cobra Beer in the sand, the smell of fried fish, the dopey, plodding cow which blundered a path through our love-making (I wish I could forget the cow!), the Arabian Sea before me, the gritty taste of sand in my mouth – and him: an outline moving in the shadows, a supple and angular body, a hungry mouth on my neck, an intoxicating scent of coriander and cologne. My daughter’s father is nothing more to me than a collection of random memories and yet, on the rare occasions when I permit myself the luxury of steamy thoughts, I always think of him.
Jaya: I live with my mum in Netherton. Netherton is a good place to live because it’s next to Merry Hill, which is my favourite place in the whole world. Merry Hill is probably the biggest shopping centre in England and I go there nearly every Saturday with my mum. Mum is white, but I’m only half white. My other half is Asian. I’ve never met my dad, but mum says he’s from India. I’ve never been to India, but I’ve got lots of pretty saris, which is what Indian ladies wear. I don’t have any other family, apart from my grandparents, who I’ve never met because they’re racist.
Izzie: I’ve always had a high tolerance of parental disapproval. At some point in my early childhood I reached two important conclusions: a) that it was unrealistic I would ever become my mother and father’s ideal daughter and, b) that it didn’t actually bother me. Life was much simpler after that. When, at sixteen, I informed them that I would no longer be accompanying them to church every Sunday, I endured the ensuing torrent of criticism and condemnation with calmness and composure. When I came home with a nose-ring at the age of seventeen, my parents didn’t speak to me for over a month and I enjoyed the peace and quiet...
"I was knocked out by the quality of the writing and predict a glowing future for the author. She really does know what it takes to write an unputdownable and unforgettable book." US Amazon Reviewer
"If you enjoy Mike Leigh films you will love this book." UK Amazon Reviewer
"Akin to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time this novel will hopefully inform people, in much the same way, about young people living with disability, and their individual rights and feelings." UK Amazon Reviewer