Umi Sinha







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(Paperback | ISBN 9789386050441| 336 pages | July 2016)


Shortlisted for the Author’s Club Best First Novel Award 2016

Lila Langdon is twelve years old when she witnesses a family tragedy after her mother unveils her father’s surprise birthday present—a tragedy that ends her childhood in India and precipitates a new life in Sussex with her great-aunt Wilhelmina.

From 1855, in the darkest days of the British Raj through to the aftermath of the First World War, Belonging tells the interwoven story of three generations and their struggles to understand and free themselves from a troubled history steeped in colonial violence. It is a novel of secrets that unwind through Lila’s story, through her grandmother’s letters home from India and the diaries kept by her father, Henry, as he puzzles over the enigma of his birth and his stormy marriage to the mysterious Rebecca.

Umi Sinha’s unforgettable debut is an intense, compelling and finely wrought epic of love and loss, of race and ethnicity, of homeland—and of belonging.


Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


‘Captivating... Sinha is simply one of the best storytellers I’ve come across in a very long time.’
—Kadija Sesay, poet, writer and editor of SableLitMag

‘An important novel, told beautifully with arresting delicacy and sensitivity.’
—Jacob Ross, poet, playwright and author of Pynter Bender

Belonging is a big-hearted book from an author who can write with luminous delicacy and unflinching, visceral immediacy.’
—Catherine Smith, author of The Biting Point

‘A breathtakingly complex book... a fascinating read.’
Other Terrain

‘Reading [Belonging] is a deeply felt, mesmerising experience.’
—Historical Novel Society

‘One of the most gripping, engrossing, heart-in-mouth novels I’ve read in 2015… An outstanding first novel.’
Shiny New Books

‘Ambitious and powerful... Belonging explores serious themes and delves deep into dark moments of history, yet remains beautifully readable and engaging to the last—a brilliant, polished debut.’
Sussex Life

‘A gripping story of three generations caught up in the rights and wrongs of imperialism in India.’

‘A dream of a book, beautifully written and movingly told. It deals with the big themes of life: memory, secrets, family, and homeland, with an intimate eye for detail.’
Brighton and Hove Independent

‘Sinha balances emotional drama with hard-hitting narrative and this is an excellent read, one of my favourites of 2015.’
We Love This Book

‘A beautifully crafted epic of love and loss, ethnicity and homeland.’

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