The young bride’s tale: China Room, by Sunjeev Sahota, reviewed

Sunjeev Sahota’s novels present an unvarnished image of British Asian lives. Ours Are the Streets chronicles a suicide bomber’s radicalisation, and its Booker-shortlisted successor, The Year of the Runaways, follows illegal immigrants in Sheffield — where Sahota now lives, having been raised in Derby by Punjabi-born parents. China Room, his most autobiographical work to date, mines his adolescence in deprived 1990s Chesterfield and imagines that of his great-grandmother in rural Punjab. In 1929, a 15-year-old girl is married to one of three brothers. On a remote farm, Mehar shares confined quarters with the best china and two other veiled brides —each competing to conceive a son first. Couplings take place