|Have you ever read something that hurts and heals at the same time? A book that is tragic yet so hopeful at the same time? A book which at once is about weakness and strength, love and loss, secrets and magic and is so beautiful that you can’t help but marvel at the prowess of writing, the beauty of the author’s thoughts which she so effortlessly and intricately weaves into the story that they only reveal themselves if you look very carefully?|
‘The Sister Of My Heart’ is all about this and a lot more. It is the story of two cousins- Sudha and Anju who are closer even than blood sisters. These two share clothes, worries, dreams, secrets and a lot more. Born on the same I’ll-fated night that both their fathers mysteriously go missing, they both have to be at the receiving end of society’s taunts a lot of times but with each other’s support they can face anything. Living in the matriarchal Chatterjee household in the watchful gaze of three mothers, Nalini Ma, Gouri Ma and Pishi, Sudha and Anju find their ways of doing things that the mothers didn’t approve of and sometimes got them in trouble.
It’s all fun and games in the starting but as the novel progresses, Sudha discovers a secret about the past which puts everything at test. As the story moves forward we see Sudha and Anju getting married and naturally they have to part ways which is heartbreaking but is one of the major building blocks of the novel. A character that deserves a special mention here is Singhji, a person who came to the Chaterjees in their testing times but never left their side. His character arc was beautiful and so smartly placed in the storyline that one is bound to love him. He was one of my favorite characters from the story.
This is a story that feels so real and true that the lines between fiction and reality are often blurred. The author brings out each emotion so vividly that one can’t help living it. From that protectiveness towards our siblings to the butterflies in the tummy that the feeling of love brings along, from the feeling of loss to the heartbreak that betrayal brings along, Divakaruni captures it all so beautifully.
‘The Sister of My Heart’ has the power to transport you into another world. With it, you can travel to Kolkata of the 80s and stay there in a beautiful mansion. The writing is as smooth as ink from the fountain pen gliding on a paper. It’s almost poetic and as I have said before, Divakaruni is a master storyteller who knows her craft very well.
She has masterfully created layers upon layers of secrets, tragedy, love and loss, that one keeps wondering about the why(s) till the end to find the answers. She has crafted the story in such a way that one does not expect a revelation in the end, so when it comes it’s almost as if lightning struck you. If you are looking for a cue to start reading Divakaruni’s works then take this as a sign. I can’t wait to read the sequel- ‘The Vine of Desire’.