This novel tells of the transition from a two part Pakistan to a separate Bangladesh through the lives of the central family.
In 1958, Rehana is the young widow of Iqbal Haque, an insurance guy who died too young. A court decreed that her children Maya and Sohail be raised by his brother, Faiz Chacha and his wife, Parveen, until Rehana is able to care for them herself. We skip ahead to 1971. The children have been living with her for many years, having spent only two years away from her. East Pakistan is on the verge of separating from West Pakistan. Her daughter is a militant at university. Her son, generally more reserved, becomes involved as well, as does she after the West Pakistan government oks massacres and generally awful behavior by the military.
We follow Rehana through all this, worrying about her children, her friends, helping others, having to deal with family who are on the other side in the conflict. The payload here is clearly the political history of the separation. The characters are drawn well enough and the pace is quick. This is an easy, fast read, with plenty of personal trial, personal weakness, and personal triumph.