One afternoon in the streets of an East African neighborhood, a young Indian boy is struck by a bus and loses his leg. Among the stunned witnesses whose lives are changed forever by this event are a Belgian woman, Sarie Turner, and her young daughter. Sarie has learned not to expect too much from her bookish, ne'er- do-well British husband or indeed from life. But in the wake of the accident, her life changes direction in unexpected ways. When Sarie visits the convalescing child, she becomes fascinated with the boy's father. Before long, the two begin an affair that surprises them both. Their secret passion is observed by the matriarch, who is the eyes and ears of the neighborhood, even as it is completely overlooked by both Sarie's husband and by the very proper British Council ladies who are determined to turn Sarie into a respectable woman.
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