Title: Sister Of My Heart.
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
Genre: Fiction, Women Centered.
'Sister Of My Heart' is the third book that I've read by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni . The first one was 'The Mistress Of Spices' & the second 'The Palace Of Illusions'. There is something about her books which leaves the readers craving for more!
'The Mistress of Spices' and 'The Palace of Illusions' both were uniquely magical. The former being a tale of love and spices and the latter picked from the pages of Hindu mythology. Unlike both the books 'Sister Of My Heart' is an enchanting tale(less dependent on magic) of two cousins who were born on the same day;prematurely born as a result of their mothers going into early labor after hearing the unexpected news-the demise of both fathers.
Anju, the smart, ambitious one and Sudha, the docile beauty; yet the bond which the sisters share seemed unbreakable. When a crisis hits the family, it is decided to get the girls married off and that's when each of the girls learn a dark secret which they are bound to carry with themselves for the rest of their lives. The relationship is not the same anymore. Anju is married to Sunil, who works in America. Sudha is married to Ramesh,a railway employee.
|English: A photograph of Indian-American novelist Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The second half of the book reveals the now married sisters coping with the demons of their lives. Distance being a factor here, the sisters drift farther from each other. Crisis hits them again and how they find solace in each other. The till now submissive Sudha, lets go of her inhibitions and takes a stand for herself and Anju on the other hand sick with agony retreats into a shell.
I understand it is a female empowerment plot however the male characters were portrayed as complete losers. The only exception was Singhji, their driver, disfigured beyond recognition in a fire- punished for the follies he committed. At first I didn't quite apprehend the relevance of the character, only to be surprised at the end of the book! So, about the male characters, no father figures for the girls, Anju gets married to Sunil who is already enthralled by Sudha's beauty. Sudha who gets married to Ramesh, who cannot stand up for himself or his wife in front of his mother, making him a mamma's boy. Another male character was Ashok, Sudha's love interest. You cannot really blame that guy for sometimes acting like a jerk. Poor soul is in love. You rarely get that nowadays! :|
The chapters alternate between the two sister's point of view. The language is simple and the relationship between the sisters were so intimate and pure that it strikes a chord in the hearts of the readers. I welled up a couple of times.
The bond between the sisters is not the same anymore, the bond is more of a sense of duty than love. Even though Anju is initially represented as the brave and rebellious among the two, it is Sudha who is brave in many life altering situations.
The story does not end here. The story continues in the sequel 'The Vine of Desire'. Will the sisters unravel the secrets they have been hiding from the other? Will they still stick with each other when tragedy strikes yet again? Will selfish love come in between the two sisters? Or will love bring them closer than ever before?
I have no idea! I'm in the process of reading 'The Vine of Desire' so hopefully, will soon know.
In short- 'Sister Of My Heart' is a painful,emotional& a beautiful book!