A Hundred Hands


When Polly's husband is arrested for committing a vile crime, she leaves Britain for India —not only to visit a friend, but to gain some much-needed distance from her life. It is a form of self-exile because of what she feels is her duplicity in her husband’s crime. When she arrives in Kolkata, she is appalled at the poverty and squalor around her but touched by the friendly and eager faces of the children she eventually gets to teach as a volunteer. Her initial self-imposed exile then becomes a journey of self-discovery.

The richness and vibrancy of Ms Noble’s writing is something one rarely sees in fiction. It is unforgiving and real and beautiful. Kolkata and Wales become characters that add to the richness of the novel. One is transported to the sweltering heat and abject poverty of Kolkata’s streets, and discovers the rare jewels that Polly comes to love – the children. The change in temperature from unbearable heat to the Welsh cold is a stark contrast that one can actually feel. Polly’s metamorphosis will also grip the reader throughout the story and the author allows us to be a part of that transformation until the very end when Polly realizes what is most important in her life. 

Be prepared for a roller coaster ride of laughter, tears, of heartache, and redemption. Truly a remarkable story!

M.P. Ceja