When the World Went Black by Jane De Suza

Category: Children’s Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Random House India (forthcoming)

Set against the backdrop of the 2020 pandemic and lockdown, this story for children (and their carers) is about loss – and beyond. When funny, feisty Swara, almost 9, loses her most loved person, her grandmother, Pitter Paati, she can’t accept it. V. Impossible! She looks for clues about where her detective-loving PP could have disappeared to. Instead, she stumbles upon clues to a crime no one believes is occurring, and which, in the lockdown, she can’t do anything about. The story weaves between the crime across the street and the unbearable grief Swara tries to make sense of. Answers filter in, through humour (is it okay to ever laugh again?), how her friends cope, the relationship with her own family. Sometimes solving the biggest questions in the universe depends on first solving the ones across the street. Till slowly, a bit of light glimmers through the black. A story of grief, humour and hope – for those of us who have gone through a loss.

The author: Jane De Suza