I have read many books by Amitav Gosh and generally find them quite good and a learning experience, but this one left me cold. I thought the characters were caricatures, specially Fokir, portrayed as the "noble savage"...give me a break! In spite of that, he writes well. One of the points of this book is the conflict between the environment and the basic needs of people living in fragile areas. The other point is the contrast between doing good locally versus the grandiose ideas that sound good but lead nowhere: the conflict between Nursun and Nilima exemplifies that.