Orphaned at birth, seventeen-year-old Korobi Roy is the scion of a distinguished Kolkata family and has enjoyed a privileged, sheltered childhood with her adoring grandparents. But she is troubled by the silence that surrounds her parents’ death and clings fiercely to her only inheritance from them: the love note she found hidden in her mother's book of poetry. Korobi dreams of one day finding a love as powerful as her parents', and it seems her wish has come true when she meets the charming Rajat, the only son of a high-profile business family.
But shortly after their engagement, a heart attack kills Korobi's grandfather, revealing serious financial problems and a devastating secret about Korobi's past. Shattered by this discovery and by her grandparents' betrayal, Korobi undertakes a courageous search across post 9/11 America to find her true identity. Her dramatic, often startling journey will, ultimately, thrust her into the most difficult decision of her life.
Pages: 304 (hardcover)
Publisher: Published March 19th 2013 by Free Press
Rating: 10 out of 10
Source: Checked out from library
Date Completed: April 17, 2013
I first learned of Oleander Girl by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni on Twitter. Since I get almost all my books from the library, I am not very up to date on new releases. I was excited to learn that the author is on twitter and I immediately started following her. Since starting the Reading List section of my blog, I have only reviewed one of her books. However, she is one of my favorite writer's. I love who she brings women's voices and experiences to the center of the story. Her descriptions of living with attachments to two cultures is something I relate to strongly and, as strange as it sounds, helps me relate to my own parents better.
From the first sentence, I was swept up in the story. One of my favorite things about Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the she creates worlds in which I get lost in every time I read, even if it is just a few pages. I loved the premise of a young girl seeking to learn more about her mother and struggling to understand and forgive her grand parent's decision. I loved being inside the head of the grandmother as she tries to come to terms with her husband's choices and bridge a connection to her granddaughter. My least favorite character was Rajat, the love interest. The book had surprises without being cliche, but I was still rooting for a fairytale ending.
I am counting this book for the following challenge: 2013 South Asian Reading Challenge: The author is South Asian and most of the book takes place in India.