Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Read review: Sister of My Heart

Sister of My Heart (Anju and Sudha #1) by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Paperback, 347 pages
Published 1999 by Black Swan (first published 1997)

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni made an indelible impression on the literary world with her first novel, The Mistress of Spices, a magical tale of love and herbs. Sister of My Heart is less reliant on enchantment but no less enchanting as it tells the tale of two cousins born on the same day, their premature births brought on by a mysterious occurrence that claims the lives of both their fathers. Sudha is beautiful, Anju is not; yet the girls love each other as sisters, the bond between them so strong it seems nothing can break it. When both are pushed into arranged marriages, however, each discovers a devastating secret that changes their relationship forever.

Sister of My Heart spans many years and zigzags between India and America as the cousins first grow apart and then eventually reunite. Divakaruni invests this domestic drama with poetry as she traces her heroines' lives from infancy to motherhood, but it is Sudha and Anju who give the story its backbone. Anju might speak for both when she says, "In spite of all my insecurities, in spite of the oceans that'll be between us soon and the men that are between us already, I can never stop loving Sudha. It's my habit, and it's my fate." Book lovers may well discover that reading Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is habit-forming as well. --Margaret Prior

Absolutely loved it! This book had been ob my TBR for a long time now and I had bought this book a few months back.

In the meantime, I watched the Pakistani television soap "Mera Naseeb" which had been accused of plagiarism by the author. I loved the drama, so I could not wait to read the book. The sitcom had tweaked the story and it has a different climax and ending.

Anju and Sudha are cousins whose bond is no less than real sisters. But personality-wise, they are poles apart. Yet the lengths they go for the love and well-being of the other. Their three mothers raises the fatherless girls with love and strictness. Love and marriages throw the girls into the complexities of life. A family secret lurks around in the dark.

And the way author weaves her stories. Absolutely amazing. Nothing less. I finished the book two days back and I still can't stop thinking about the characters. It has given me a bad case of book hangover. Thankfully, this one has a sequel, "The Vine of Desire", and I can't wait to know what happens next. I have already purchased the book online :) I hope it arrives soon.

Love you Chitra! Please keep writing.

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