"‘I was born ugly. That's what my mother always said.'
So begins the story of young Sonny Mahadewala who lives a dual life: between his adoptive England where he lives in eccentric union with a privileged American, and the mixed bliss of the Mahadewala Walauwa, the big house on the mountain belonging to his father's family in Kandy— the ancient capital of Sri Lanka—where he has both cachet and awful memories. For Sonny's mother, a wonderfully maleficent anti-heroine, is convinced that demons possess this awfully ugly son of hers. Demons and the devil himself are the playing field of this book, whether seated in the draughty chapels of Oxford or roaming the Kandyan countryside and, through their clever interplay, they speak of larger horrors with able grace.
Who is utterly good or utterly evil—and who, indeed, is the devil?