The year is 1886, and England is at the height of its colonial power. On assignment for the British War Office, Edgar Drake, an unassuming, introverted tuner of pianos, is sent to India to work on a valuable instrument. In Burma, he befriends the owner of the piano, Surgeon-Major Anthony Carroll, who maintains peace with the natives by offering them free medical care and of all things music. Drake is soon taken with India and reluctant to leave, but his involvement in a political plot engineered by Carroll has disastrous results. Mason's debut novel is ambitious and fascinating, a smart exploration of the transformative effects of travel, as well as the dangers of colonization. A reading group guide is available in print and online at

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