Fleeing the dark undercurrents of contemporary life in Britain, Hilary Byrd takes refuge in Ooty, a hill station in South India.
There he finds solace in life's simple pleasures, travelling by rickshaw around the small town with his driver Jamshed and staying in a mission house beside the local presbytery where the Padre and his adoptive daughter Priscilla have taken Hilary under their wing.
The Padre is concerned for Priscilla's future, and as Hilary's friendship with the young woman grows, he begins to wonder whether his purpose lies in this new relationship. But religious tensions are brewing and the mission house may not be the safe haven it seems.
The Mission House boldly and imaginatively explores post-colonial ideas in a world fractured between faith and non-belief, young and old, imperial past and nationalistic present.
Tenderly subversive and meticulously crafted, it is a deeply human fable of the wonders and terrors of connection in a modern world.
AUTHOR: Carys Davies's first novel West (Granta, 2018) won the Wales Book of the Year Fiction award, was Runner-Up for the Society of Author's McKitterick Prize and was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize. Her short stories have been widely published in magazines and anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. They have won the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, the Society of Authors' Olive Cook Award, the Royal Society of Literature's V S Pritchett Prize, and a Northern Writers' Award, and her second collection, The Redemption of Galen Pike, won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award 2015.