The book is much about the problems living in another culture. Being an Indian girl living in England can be hard, because of the differences in costumes and culture between Europeans and Asians. Jesminder Bahmra, called Jess for short, is an Indian girl who lives with her family in Southall, London. Southall is a part of the town where many families of Indian origin live. She, as many other children from other parts of the world, talks English and is born in England. But many children from Asian families are encouraged to use their Asian languages at home. In London schools there are now children with 275 different mother tongues, and in Britain there are about 780 000 people who speak languages from the Indian subcontinent.
Her family can be one of those who immigrated to Britain in the 19th century. Many people immigrated to Britain from many parts of the world, such as Bangladesh and Barbados, Sierra Leone and Singapore, and in the 1950s and 1960s the largest groups of immigrants came from the West Indies and the Indian subcontinent, which are India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.