No spoilers. Read on.
I love stories. That was my favorite part of playing pretend as a child. Creating an entirely different life for myself in a different place was wonderful. I still play pretend in my mind while reading.
For most of this book, the setting is India. I was transported there as I listened to the audio book. In my mind, I was there for the Holi festival with the smells of spicy food and children’s laughter coloring the air. I felt the emotions of the characters.
The story is sad and lovely. It is emotional and left me holding my breath on several occasions. Although there is some romance, the majority of the story is about life, it’s struggles, the precious moments, and how unfair it can be.
The story begins with Jaya, a writer, who goes to India to “find herself” and explore her heritage. She finds Ravi. He was a servant to her grandmother. He tells her the story of Amisha, her grandmother. Amisha lives both upholding India’s traditions as well as pushing against them. As she goes through life and wades through all it’s seasons, she lives, loves, fails, and perseveres.
The story that Ravi tells Jaya is the best kind of story: one that has love, trial, and triumph. This story will be with me for a while.
I hope to read more by this author. Her writing is very descriptive and makes you feel what she is trying to convey. It has been some time since a story has captivated me in the way that this one did.
Some of my favorite quotes:
“My power became dependent on the height of my achievements.”
“When we reach, we always chance a fall.”
“But laws are slow to change what is in people’s hearts.”
I identified with the two women in this book in different ways.
Jaya stuggled with infertility. After three miscarriages, she needed to figure out who she was outside of being a mother. She went to India for her mother, to see her childhood home in hopes that it would explain her mother’s reserved nature and sometimes odd behavior. In finding out the truths of her mother’s life, I think it helped to heal Jaya. She explored destiny versus decision.
Amisha was a weaver of words. She invented a different life for herself in her imagination and spun stories to teach and entertain. She spoke to my heart and reminded me what a good character can be. She made the best of a not so great life.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it.