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.
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
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