by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

readingwomenreadingchallenge prompt 1: an author from India

This book is about so many things – it takes sweeping to the next level. For me there were too many parallel stories to allow for total engagement with any one of them. I felt a bit bombarded with characters and situations to care about.

The settings are beautifully created though and Divakaruni uses her words so exquisitely to drop the reader in the middle of Kolkata or New York City. I certainly believed in all of the locations if not the characters and relationships.

I struggled a bit with the primary love relationship between Korobi and Rajat at all – she is destined for infidelity and misery. It felt incongruous that she agreed to marry him at all. It jarred with what little of her deeper character we had been exposed to.

The end of this book felt like it was written by another person, or in a hurry. Interesting topics were opened up by the book and then everything was just tied up, shut down and finished quickly and neatly.
In addition to behaviour that seemed not to match what we already knew of the characters it also felt rushed and incomplete. After the sweeping brush strokes of the whole book with almost too much details, the last bit felt like a colouring-in book picture.