Where the Peacocks Sing: A Palace, a Prince, and the Search for Home

By the time Alison Gee established herself as a Hong Kong-based entertainment journalist, she'd traveled more than halfway around the world from her Los Angeles roots and her big, chaotic Chinese-American family, but her glamorous expatriate life seemed to be missing something. She'd have to travel a bit more before she found it in a decaying family estate in northern India.

Where the Peacocks Sing is Alison Singh Gee's memoir of her unexpected romance with fellow journalist Ajay Singh--a relationship that began over e-mail, flourished when he moved from Delhi to Hong Kong to be with her and was challenged almost from the beginning by cultural and socioeconomic differences. As a child, Alison had read about and dreamed of Indian palaces and royalty; she was stunned to learn that Ajay actually was Indian royalty. When he took her to visit his family's beloved, decrepit hundred-room palace at Mokimpur, however, she may have been even more stunned to discover both how much the lives of modern Indian royalty have changed from those books she read as a girl and how slowly some things about Indian life change at all.

While its settings are exotic, Singh Gee's experiences of finding one's place within the family and the world at large are near-universal. Where the Peacocks Sing is a charming memoir with cross-genre appeal to fans of multicultural literature and women's fiction. --Florinda Pendley Vasquez, blogger at The 3 R's Blog: Reading, 'Riting, and Random

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