James Connor is a man who, burdened with guilt following a tragic event in his youth, has dedicated his life to serving India. Ruth Connor is his estranged daughter who, as a teenager, always knew she came second to her parents' missionary vocation and rebelled, with equally tragic consequences. After 24 years away, Ruth finally returns to Askival, the family home in Mussoorie, a remote hill station in the Northern State of Uttarakhand, to tend to her dying father. There she must face the past and confront her own burden of guilt if she is to cross the chasm that has grown between them. In this extraordinary and assured debut, Merryn Glover draws on her own upbringing as a child of missionary parents in Uttarakhand to create this sensitive, complex, moving and epic journey through the sights, sounds and often violent history of India from Partition to the present day.
'An original and engaging story. Glover understands houses are never just houses. Askival will break your heart.' Cynthia Rogerson, author of I Love You, Goodbye and If I Touched the Earth 'It wrestles with battles for independence both personal and national, and with the shocking fallout, in families and in countries, that ensue wherever power struggles take place. I was transported to the monsoons of Mussoorie, a hill station in the Northern State of Uttarakhand - Glover gives us an epic and raging sweep of history through many eyes, for there are no victors. The road to independence and its aftermath is indeed a bloody and complex process' Northwords Now 'The star of it really is India - its sights, sounds and smells, and turbulent history from Partition to the death of Indira Gandhi.' Our Book Reviews
Merryn Glover was born in a former Royal Palace in Kathmandu and brought up in South Asia. She went to university in Australia and later trained as a teacher. Her writing has been published in newspapers and broadcast on Radio 4. Her full length play The Long Way Home was produced in 1997 and then broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland the following year. A House Called Askival is her first novel. Having returned to live and work in Nepal for four years she now lives in Highland Perthshire.