In her first novel, Difficult Daughters (1998), awarded with the 1999 Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Best First Book (Eurasia region) and critically acclaimed in India, Manju Kapur –who teaches English Literature at Miranda House College, Delhi University– has produced one of the most thought-provoking novels written in English from India in the last years. In this semi-autobiographical fiction, Ida, the main and contemporary narrator, reconstructs her mother’s –Virmati– life, after her death, to overcome it in a sort of cathartic therapy, to face the new situation and gain some understanding of her own heritage. Through this, piecing together Virmati’s fragmented memory, Ida creates an emotional chain between mother and daughter, a daughter who finally understands and becomes aware of the fact that her mother was also a daughter some time ago. Mostly set in Amritsar and Lahore in the 1940s, during India’s Independence and pre-Partition struggle, and partly based on Kapur’s own mother, Difficult Daughters recovers the story of Virmati, her wishes to study, her scandalous relationship with her married neighbour, the Professor, whose second wife she becomes, her life choices and the outcomes. Structurally, the novel flows smoothly, even though past and present become intertwined in order to create a possible future: Ida’s own life to come without her mother, with the knowledge of a only-recently-discovered past. Mostly, this is very much a novel of borders and spaces in-between: in terms of setting, Lahore and the whole Punjab is a disputed borderland between India and Pakistan, the narrative edges oscillate between history and imagination, and the main characters, past and present, are women located at liminal zones amid times, reminiscences, (dis)connections, inheritances, traditions, wishes and responsibilities.