A hotel in southern India is home to a host of romantic intrigues and human misadventures in this delightful novel from a New York Times–bestselling author. Over a decade before The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, award-winning author Rumer Godden was delighting readers with the exploits of the residents and staff at a quaint getaway resort in southern India. Wily and winning Anglo-Indian hotel owner Auntie Sanni has entertained all manner of guests during her many years as hostess at Patna Hall, a popular vacation spot on the lush Coromandel coast. Now, with an election coming, business is especially brisk, and her hotel is packed with Indian politicians, British diplomats, journalists, American tourists—even a donkey, an elephant, and a woman of mystery or two. Among the vacationers are Mary and Blaise, a young English couple on their honeymoon. But where Mary is enchanted by the colors, sounds, and vibrant Indian life, prim and priggish Blaise sees only squalor, sordidness, and a Coromandel Sea teeming with sharks. Matters are only made worse when Mary becomes interested in local Indian politics—particularly the handsome, exquisitely spoken candidate Krishnan, whose kindness and wisdom are like a balm for her spirit. As tensions between the newlyweds continue to mount, even resourceful Auntie Sanni may not be able to forestall potential unpleasantness or prevent it from escalating into tragedy. The acclaimed author of Black Narcissus and The River returns readers once again to her beloved India with a novel brimming with heart, wit, unforgettable characters, and "a sense of timelessness reminiscent of E. M. Forster" (The Times, London). This ebook features an illustrated biography of the author including rare images from the Rumer Godden Literary Estate.