A thorough exploration of various miseries. The plot centers on a judge who has retired to a remote ruin of a house near the Himalayas close to Nepal. He had been sent to Britain by his father to be educated to make a better life; he does succeed to some degree in that he comes back to India and has a career. His personal life is horrid and when we meet him he has reluctantly taken in his orphaned granddaughter. The household is completed by the cook who has managed to send his son to the US, in the mistaken hope he will have a better life. The girl is tutored by two elderly sisters whose happiness depends on the goods their receive from Harrods. And then things get worse -- the Nepalese who live among them as a despised minority rise up.