This title isn’t available with your membership

We’re working with the publisher to make it available as soon as possible. If you’d like to read it immediately, you can purchase this title individually.

Request Title
From the award-winning author of Mistress of Spices, the bestselling novel about the extraordinary bond between two women, and the family secrets and romantic jealousies that threaten to tear them apart.

Anju is the daughter of an upper-caste Calcutta family of distinction. Her cousin Sudha is the daughter of the black sheep of that same family. Sudha is startlingly beautiful; Anju is not. Despite those differences, since the day on which the two girls were born, the same day their fathers died--mysteriously and violently--Sudha and Anju have been sisters of the heart. Bonded in ways even their mothers cannot comprehend, the two girls grow into womanhood as if their fates as well as their hearts were merged.

But, when Sudha learns a dark family secret, that connection is shattered. For the first time in their lives, the girls know what it is to feel suspicion and distrust. Urged into arranged marriages, Sudha and Anju's lives take opposite turns. Sudha becomes the dutiful daughter-in-law of a rigid small-town household. Anju goes to America with her new husband and learns to live her own life of secrets. When tragedy strikes each of them, however, they discover that despite distance and marriage, they have only each other to turn to.

Set in the two worlds of San Francisco and India, this exceptionally moving novel tells a story at once familiar and exotic, seducing readers from the first page with the lush prose we have come to expect from Divakaruni. Sister of My Heart is a novel destined to become as widely beloved as it is acclaimed.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published: Random House Publishing Group on Sep 15, 2009
ISBN: 9780307476791
List price: $11.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Sister of My Heart: A Novel
Available as a separate purchase
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Clear rating

The author does a beautiful job of telling us the story of two Indian girls who grow up in the same household believing there are cousins. Their love for one another and their commitment to each other's happiness is powerful and extremely touching. It is also a very telling look into the Indian culture, particularly as to arranged marriages.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
My last book of 2007.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.Pretty good, though with the chapters alternating between the two girls I did get a little confused sometimes as to what happened to whom - there seemed to be not enough difference between the two voices for me to remember who and what. (I have to admit that I did read this over perhaps a week, putting it down and picking it up again, so that may have contributed).read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was poetic, rich with exotic descriptions and beautiful metaphors. Divakaruni weaves a delicate, intricate web of complex problem after complex problem. Just when you believe something good will happen for one of the characters, another problem presents itself and your heart breaks for the harsh reality of Indian culture on the women. This book is about how strong the tree of sisterly love grows and how deep the roots go. It is also about unfulfilled desire and sacrificial love. The book had pages which re-ignited my passion for my true love. There were pages that were irresistible to capture quotes from and write them down so I can save them forever.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.

This is the story of two distant cousins, Basudha & Anjli referred to as Sudha & Anju in the novel. They stay with their widow Mom’s and a bua. Sudha & Anju have lost their respective fathers who had gone in search of rubies…how they actually died is a mystery for everyone but yes this news send their mothers into premature labor and the girls are born.

The girls are inseparable and they form a bond which no one can understand or match. Sudha is the beautiful one and the Anju the headstrong. Sudha & her mother are the ones who are dependent on Anju’s family. Then there is Singhji their loyal & unpaid chauffeur.

Sudha is concerned with the histories of their families. She ponders the misadventure that claimed the lives of their fathers Sudha forces her bua to tell the real story of the escapade of her father & uncle the truth she learns is the backbone of the story.

Throughout the story, there is the sense that the choices these fathers made will always affect the fate of their daughters, and that the daughters’ own choices will always bring unforeseen consequences.

Sudha falls in love but what she choses ultimately bound by the guilt factor...their marriages take the sisters apart while Sudha moves to a small town as a dutiful housewife Anju moves to US of A with dreams that she is going with her dream man who loves her as she loves him.

From this point onwards the book deals with the respective lives of the two sisters. The choices they are forced to make. I won’t go into the details herein because it will kill the suspense of the book.

The best part about the book is the bond between the sisters…the way the author has depicted their closeness, their dependency and hold on each other is not only touching but to some extent very real…the way both of them are each others support system…they are ready to forego their dreams for each other so that the other can be happy…Sudha leaves India with her baby leaving behind her mother and Ashok the only man she has ever loved in her life …she leaves because she has promised Anju that she will be there with her..

And when you think that the novel is about to end the author gives a blow to you….She discloses the secret and when the passage starts you’ll be dumbfounded….that’s the beauty of this novel…it leaves you dumbstruck for sometime…

Read this book for the beautiful writing…there are some short stories which are the staple diets of these sisters, the stories which used to just story for them but become their source of inspiration in times of needs....The author has a way with words her writing is to some extent lyrical but very real...sometimes we might feel its drem like...but may be thats the reason its called fiction :-)

read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
November 2008 COTC Book Club selection.

Sudha and Anju are cousins born on the same day, raised as sisters by their mothers and aunt. Divakaruni brings to light the hard lives faced by Indian women with no men to protect them. Neither Anju nor Sudha ends up with the life she expected and tragedy strikes more than once, but through it all, the cousins find that the bond of love they share is stronger than anything else.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I love this book: it says it's a mix between reality and stories, but aren't stories part of reality? However you chose to look at it, Sister of My Heart is a masterpiece.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A book proving that "chick-lit" novels can be written in any setting. "Sister of My Heart" offers interesting insights into the Indian culture of Calcutta, in particular how it affects women. Chapters alternate between the narrative voices of Anju and Sudha, two cousins who grow up in the Chatterjee household of three widows. Anju is intellectual and passionate in her convictions, and Sudha is a soft-hearted beauty. Though they are different, and - like everyone, ultimately alone - they consider each other to be "the sister of my heart." Eventually they each marry, Anju goes off to America, and somewhere Bette Midler sings "Wind Beneath My Wings." (JAF)read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Sister of my Heart is a fairy tale or mythic story re-written by two women. The beginning is very flowery, as befits a story (a ruby mine? seriously? haven't I read that before in A Little Princess?) and as the characters develop the tone changes.Despite the high drama of the early part of the novel (or perhaps because of it) the best parts are in the end. The one line given to Sudha when she realizes her debt to Anju is only their friendship, not her father's mistakes. The mothers' breezy attitude after years of strictures. Anju's reliance on Sudha.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
To peek into the world of arranged marriages gives me a good perspective of what it may be like to be married to someone you don't really know and perhaps don't really like. I wonder if I could be as strong as some of the women Ms Davakaruni writes about if I were in their situation.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A fun, engaging story about two Indian sisters, each struggling to live their own unique lives but, naturally, intertwined. Divakaruni has an interesting and unique writing style that is natural and poetic at the same time. Recommended.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a soap opera. It is reported to describe well the life of middle-class Indian women. In this book, the men are doofuses and there are lots of plot contrivances. Plus a case of long lasting love at first sight, lasting over time & distance.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was a lovely book about two cousins, both forced to put aside their dreams and enter into arranged marriages. And it was the story of family secrets. While reading you can imagine the spices in the food, the scent of the flowers and the warmth of the Indian climate.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wonderful story of the lives of two Indian girls who grow up together and are very close. I loved learning about Indian culture and traditions as far as growing up female in India. I loved both these girls and rooted for them all through the story to the very last page.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Loved it and full of surprises. Interesting modern tale of life in India. Strong females. not just weak victims. I really like this writer. Would like to read more from her7/16/99read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was not a book I would have chosen for myself. It was given to me. I've had it a very long time and finally sat and read it yesterday. In one day. It drew me in completely and I could not put it down. Overdone in places? Sure. But completely enjoyable nonetheless. Will read more from this authorread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Delicious book to read on the beach in sunny Aruba!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a book that I must have been carrying around for over a month before I had the opportunity to sit and read it. I'm glad I finally had a five minute window to open it, although it did mean that I had to find time to read the rest of it! It is the story of two girl cousins, born in a large Calcutta house on the night that their mothers heard of the deaths of their fathers. While underlying the story is the struggle of being a female only household in a highly patriarchal society, it is really a story about who is family. Told in alternating points of view of the two cousins, the gradual unfolding of the secrets that either hold a family together or tear it apart is beautifully presented. The mysticism that is wound through is fascinating - the cousins have very different beliefs, and the author has managed to juxtapose them in such a way that both are believable. The world building is subtle and very detailed, to the point that I suspect I would have got a completely different experience from reading the book if I had an underlying sense of the time and place that it is set. The details are sufficiently subtle that they don't give a sensation of voyeurism into some one else's culture, but of being invited to see through the eyes of the girls/women. 9/10read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

The author does a beautiful job of telling us the story of two Indian girls who grow up in the same household believing there are cousins. Their love for one another and their commitment to each other's happiness is powerful and extremely touching. It is also a very telling look into the Indian culture, particularly as to arranged marriages.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
My last book of 2007.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.Pretty good, though with the chapters alternating between the two girls I did get a little confused sometimes as to what happened to whom - there seemed to be not enough difference between the two voices for me to remember who and what. (I have to admit that I did read this over perhaps a week, putting it down and picking it up again, so that may have contributed).
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book was poetic, rich with exotic descriptions and beautiful metaphors. Divakaruni weaves a delicate, intricate web of complex problem after complex problem. Just when you believe something good will happen for one of the characters, another problem presents itself and your heart breaks for the harsh reality of Indian culture on the women. This book is about how strong the tree of sisterly love grows and how deep the roots go. It is also about unfulfilled desire and sacrificial love. The book had pages which re-ignited my passion for my true love. There were pages that were irresistible to capture quotes from and write them down so I can save them forever.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.

This is the story of two distant cousins, Basudha & Anjli referred to as Sudha & Anju in the novel. They stay with their widow Mom’s and a bua. Sudha & Anju have lost their respective fathers who had gone in search of rubies…how they actually died is a mystery for everyone but yes this news send their mothers into premature labor and the girls are born.

The girls are inseparable and they form a bond which no one can understand or match. Sudha is the beautiful one and the Anju the headstrong. Sudha & her mother are the ones who are dependent on Anju’s family. Then there is Singhji their loyal & unpaid chauffeur.

Sudha is concerned with the histories of their families. She ponders the misadventure that claimed the lives of their fathers Sudha forces her bua to tell the real story of the escapade of her father & uncle the truth she learns is the backbone of the story.

Throughout the story, there is the sense that the choices these fathers made will always affect the fate of their daughters, and that the daughters’ own choices will always bring unforeseen consequences.

Sudha falls in love but what she choses ultimately bound by the guilt factor...their marriages take the sisters apart while Sudha moves to a small town as a dutiful housewife Anju moves to US of A with dreams that she is going with her dream man who loves her as she loves him.

From this point onwards the book deals with the respective lives of the two sisters. The choices they are forced to make. I won’t go into the details herein because it will kill the suspense of the book.

The best part about the book is the bond between the sisters…the way the author has depicted their closeness, their dependency and hold on each other is not only touching but to some extent very real…the way both of them are each others support system…they are ready to forego their dreams for each other so that the other can be happy…Sudha leaves India with her baby leaving behind her mother and Ashok the only man she has ever loved in her life …she leaves because she has promised Anju that she will be there with her..

And when you think that the novel is about to end the author gives a blow to you….She discloses the secret and when the passage starts you’ll be dumbfounded….that’s the beauty of this novel…it leaves you dumbstruck for sometime…

Read this book for the beautiful writing…there are some short stories which are the staple diets of these sisters, the stories which used to just story for them but become their source of inspiration in times of needs....The author has a way with words her writing is to some extent lyrical but very real...sometimes we might feel its drem like...but may be thats the reason its called fiction :-)

Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
November 2008 COTC Book Club selection.

Sudha and Anju are cousins born on the same day, raised as sisters by their mothers and aunt. Divakaruni brings to light the hard lives faced by Indian women with no men to protect them. Neither Anju nor Sudha ends up with the life she expected and tragedy strikes more than once, but through it all, the cousins find that the bond of love they share is stronger than anything else.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I love this book: it says it's a mix between reality and stories, but aren't stories part of reality? However you chose to look at it, Sister of My Heart is a masterpiece.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A book proving that "chick-lit" novels can be written in any setting. "Sister of My Heart" offers interesting insights into the Indian culture of Calcutta, in particular how it affects women. Chapters alternate between the narrative voices of Anju and Sudha, two cousins who grow up in the Chatterjee household of three widows. Anju is intellectual and passionate in her convictions, and Sudha is a soft-hearted beauty. Though they are different, and - like everyone, ultimately alone - they consider each other to be "the sister of my heart." Eventually they each marry, Anju goes off to America, and somewhere Bette Midler sings "Wind Beneath My Wings." (JAF)
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Sister of my Heart is a fairy tale or mythic story re-written by two women. The beginning is very flowery, as befits a story (a ruby mine? seriously? haven't I read that before in A Little Princess?) and as the characters develop the tone changes.Despite the high drama of the early part of the novel (or perhaps because of it) the best parts are in the end. The one line given to Sudha when she realizes her debt to Anju is only their friendship, not her father's mistakes. The mothers' breezy attitude after years of strictures. Anju's reliance on Sudha.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
To peek into the world of arranged marriages gives me a good perspective of what it may be like to be married to someone you don't really know and perhaps don't really like. I wonder if I could be as strong as some of the women Ms Davakaruni writes about if I were in their situation.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A fun, engaging story about two Indian sisters, each struggling to live their own unique lives but, naturally, intertwined. Divakaruni has an interesting and unique writing style that is natural and poetic at the same time. Recommended.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a soap opera. It is reported to describe well the life of middle-class Indian women. In this book, the men are doofuses and there are lots of plot contrivances. Plus a case of long lasting love at first sight, lasting over time & distance.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was a lovely book about two cousins, both forced to put aside their dreams and enter into arranged marriages. And it was the story of family secrets. While reading you can imagine the spices in the food, the scent of the flowers and the warmth of the Indian climate.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Wonderful story of the lives of two Indian girls who grow up together and are very close. I loved learning about Indian culture and traditions as far as growing up female in India. I loved both these girls and rooted for them all through the story to the very last page.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Loved it and full of surprises. Interesting modern tale of life in India. Strong females. not just weak victims. I really like this writer. Would like to read more from her7/16/99
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was not a book I would have chosen for myself. It was given to me. I've had it a very long time and finally sat and read it yesterday. In one day. It drew me in completely and I could not put it down. Overdone in places? Sure. But completely enjoyable nonetheless. Will read more from this author
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Delicious book to read on the beach in sunny Aruba!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a book that I must have been carrying around for over a month before I had the opportunity to sit and read it. I'm glad I finally had a five minute window to open it, although it did mean that I had to find time to read the rest of it! It is the story of two girl cousins, born in a large Calcutta house on the night that their mothers heard of the deaths of their fathers. While underlying the story is the struggle of being a female only household in a highly patriarchal society, it is really a story about who is family. Told in alternating points of view of the two cousins, the gradual unfolding of the secrets that either hold a family together or tear it apart is beautifully presented. The mysticism that is wound through is fascinating - the cousins have very different beliefs, and the author has managed to juxtapose them in such a way that both are believable. The world building is subtle and very detailed, to the point that I suspect I would have got a completely different experience from reading the book if I had an underlying sense of the time and place that it is set. The details are sufficiently subtle that they don't give a sensation of voyeurism into some one else's culture, but of being invited to see through the eyes of the girls/women. 9/10
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Load more
scribd