There is fire and fury, and then a happy ending — a little too neat, perhaps, with new tractors and a mango-chutney export business for Mum. Yet this is a fantastic debut and Bilan creates a vivid world in which Asha and Javeen are our firm friends.
the debut from Jasbinder Bilan, winner of her publisher’s children’s fiction competition in 2017 – hits you with lush tropical artwork: namaste, illustrator Aitch and designer Helen Crawford-White.
The words do justice to the pictures. If one of the gifts of fiction is to proffer unfamiliar footwear in which to walk a while, Bilan’s story is an eye-opening adventure, with one sandalled foot in atmospheric realism and a toe-hold in the mythical.