In a small town in South India, beneath the brutal summer sun, a young girl watches anxiously as tensions simmer, then boil over... Her parents away on business, eleven-year-old Nithya spends six sultry months in Tamil Nadu with her unmarried uncle and widowed aunt. Battling sheer boredom, stupefying heat and nosy neighbours, she befriends the family's pretty servant, Sudha. Tagging along to milk the buffalo and gather vegetables, Nithya learns the rhythm of the older girl's life - and the secret that threatens it. When Sudha hangs herself in her bedroom, the surrounding brahmin community seethes with fascination, and Nithya learns more about her uncle and her aunt that she wanted to know. As she tells Sudha's story in an exquisitely rendered voice, Nithya emerges as an extraordinary girl in her own right.