Gifted: A Novel
A dazzling first novel about a math prodigy who is being groomed by her parents to attend Oxford at the age of fourteen, Gifted heralds the arrival of a remarkable new talent.
Numbers have filled Rumi Vashey’s world since she first learned to count. But it was on a trip to India at the age of eight that her mathematical powers acquired their almost supernatural significance.
At fourteen Rumi is firmly set on the path of a gifted child, speeding headlong towards Oxford University. As her father sees it, discipline is everything if the family is to have any hope of making its mark on its adoptive country. However, as Rumi gets older and the family’s stark isolation intensifies, numbers start to lose their magic for the young teenager: she abandons the rigid timetable of her afternoons and replaces equations with rampant spice abuse. As her longing for love and her parents’ will to succeed deepen so too does the rift between generations.
Gifted captures brilliantly the battle to come of age in an emotional and comic hinterland, where histories, arithmetic and cumin seeds all play a part. In a voice that is by turns very funny and fiercely acute Lalwani vividly brings to life a young family’s search for recognition and how that search can break a family apart. A story of high aspirations and deep desires, and of the sometime loneliness of childhood, Gifted is a remarkably passionate, assured and accessible debut.
From the Hardcover edition.
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asked Badi Bina Chaachi Blenheim Palace body boys breath Bridgeman Cardiff cheek chest corner cumin daughter desk Devi didn’t door everything exam eyes face father feeling finger front frowned giggled girl glasses hair hand head hesh Hindi India inside jaggi jane Green kiss kitchen knew laughed leaned light lips living Mahesh Malory Towers marriage maths minutes Monica Ali mother Mountford mouth move Mukherjee Nibu night nodded numbers parents plastic pocket Polo mint pressed pulled pushed Rafferty round Rumi felt Rumi looked Rumi's Rumi’s Rumika salwar kameez seemed shaking Shakuntala Devi Shreene Shreene’s side silence sitting skin smile sound stared stood stopped talking thick thing thought Rumi took trying turned Vasi voice VVhat waiting walked watched What’s whispered Whitefoot window wondered words Zadie Smith