This is a book about four women-all named Aley. It is a story of obsessive love and familial loyalties set against a background of social upheaval. The women in the feudal, patriarchal, landowning family of Big House deal with their complicated lives as best as they can and Little Ale... y, the youngest of the four, tries to make sense of the lives of her hapless namesakes. She vows never to fall victim to the emotions which had tortured her mother, grandmother and beloved grandaunt and is determined to set a balance in the social system, that after a violent upheaval, now fumbles to constructively reinvent itself. Will she be able to achieve this? And will it give her contentment if she does?
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