Simone Lazaroo's exquisite novel encompasses irreconcilable desire and the meaning of love and fidelity in its story of four generations of the de Sequeira family. London, 1985. Ghislaine de Sequeira lies in a hospital. Once an obituary writer in Malacca, she had practised eloquence in the face of death for years. But now she is dying, and it is her bereft daughter Isabelle's turn to articulate the meaning of life at its end. Isabelle tries to stem her grief by seeking solace in her writing tutor and piecing together the story of her mother's post-war Malaccan life and her desire for the travel writer, a man who alters the course of both women's lives irrevocably.