title: Sister of My Heart
author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
genre: Fiction, cousins, sisterly love, familial ties, sacrifice
suggested by: Pam R.
dates read: May 30th – June 2nd
review: 5 out of 5 stars
summary: Anju and Sudha are cousins who are closer than sisters. Their fathers both died in a mysterious adventure the day they were born and they grow up together in the home their mothers share. When Sudha hears the story behind their father’s misadventure, it changes their relationship, though she doesn’t reveal what she knows to Anju. As a reward for a moment of rebellion Sudha’s mother forbids her to leave the house unescorted and tells her that when she graduates high school she will be placed into an arranged marriage. A tragedy also dooms Anju to the same fate. As their lives take them in different directions, Anju and Sudha begin to drift, but nothing can really break their bond.
personal thoughts: Another beautiful story. I liked the more realistic story that was told, even though I wanted it to go in a different direction at times. Each chapter alternated between Anju and Sudha’s perspective, which I think enriched the story even more. The loyalty they have for each other, and the lengths they’ll go to help each other is quite amazing. Chitra is a wonderful storyteller, and she created two beautiful, strong-willed, likeable heroines.
“I have caught a remembering look, at once faraway and intent, in Singhji’s eyes. . . At those times his face is not ugly at all, but more like a mountain peak that has withstood a great ice storm. And somehow I feel we are the lucky ones because he chose to come to us.” p. 8
“How can this runaway adventuress be my mother, who is built of sighs and complaints, who guards every propriety as though it is a fragile crystal heirloom he has been personally entrusted with?” p. 23
“Perhaps because we had no fathers, that other world – sweat and sunlight, male cologne, a man’s voice raised in a command to a passing servant – seemed distant and full of mystery, like the dim roar of an ocean seen through a telescope.” p. 51
“That’s how it is sometimes when we plunge into the depths of our lives. No one can accompany us, not even those who would give up their hearts for our happiness.” p. 90
“With each step, AshokAshokAshok, I am learning the landscape of loss. ” p. 126
“This life I have built over the cinders of my passion and my pain, this life where I have redefined happiness as usefulness – how blameless it has been, how unremarkable.” p. 181