Lionel arrives in Debrakot on horseback, escaping a reckless love affair in Lucknow. Brigadier and Mrs Augden take him into their home. The picturesque surroundings help Lionel find a measure of peace, though he finds himself trapped within an isolated, aging Anglo-Indian community who struggle with ghosts of the British Raj. He discovers troubling secrets of personal history, questions that arise from a legacy of mixed parentage, and encounters disturbing and fascinating characters like Farleigh, an eccentric recluse who raises leeches, and Salim, the overweight heir to a decrepit hotel. . . Stephen Alter's debut novel, Neglected Lives, was first published in 1978. It remains an elegiac work of fiction that leads us into a part of India that is seldom visited. Told through the voices of different characters, this story explores themes of identity, love and youth, weaving together moments of violence and tenderness to create a resilient fabric of human experience.