When Jasmine Vijh is suddenly widowed at seventeen, she seems fated to a future of quiet isolation in a small Indian village. But, voracious for life, she flees to America. Six years on she has become Jane Ripplemeyer, resident of Iowa, married to a middle-aged banker and adoptive mother of a Vietnamese refugee. Jasmine's odyssey through America, rippling with energy and daring, reflects Mukherjee's preoccupation with the fractured lives of exiles and immigrants caught up in a painful yet exhilarating cross-cultural metamorphosis. In this uncompromising novel that draws on all the strengths of the award-winning The Middleman and Other Stories and carries them to a new level of perception and intensity, Bharati Mukherjee has given us a heroine's 'greedy with wants and reckless with hope' - and leaves us breathless with surprise.