Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Book 4 of my Expanding Your Horizons challenge:

As a book about relationships, this book rang so true for me. The love between sisters, between mothers and their children, and the love/frustration between husbands and wives - all the intricacies and pain were woven throughout the story. The plot wasn't particularly memorable - don't get me wrong, it was fine - but for me, the characters were what struck me more.

I connected with both of the sisters - the impetus and lively Anju and the more deliberate and selfless Sudha - and how each choice they made influenced so many other decisions. It was heartwrenching and beautiful, to watch the way that their love for each other helped them to get to the places where they thought they could find - or give - some happiness. I loved the contrast between Anju calling Sudha to life as newborns and Sudha doing the same for Anju when they were adults, a lovely set of parenthesis around their coming of age together.

India itself was almost a character in the story - the culture, stigmas and beauty constantly playing a part in the choices people made. I think this book does give you a great sense of life and living and relationships among Indian people and the strength of women in general. The ending caught me a bit off-guard, but overall, it was a good read.

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