This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kelly Allen
Kushi is the savour of the village; she fights for water, education, women's right and much more. When she is hospitalised at the hands of those who want her silenced, her only hope of survival will come in the form of the right blood match and kidney donation.
Without question, her mother Sharda offers to be the donor, but she is horrified to discover she has only one kidney. This discovery is the catalyst that changes their lives forever. Sharda must face up to her past and tell Kushi the secret she has harboured all these long years.
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Raj has never known India. Born in the UK and given the life any child could only dream of, his mother Puja works day and night to provide for her son, keeping her distance and shielding her own heart in the process.
When Sharda calls Puja and begs her to return to India to help Kushi, to return to the past and face an unknown future, Puja has no choice but to go. She and her son make their way back to a past that has been buried for years but, in the process, Raj learns that not only is there more to his mother than a distant workaholic, but she has also done everything in her power to provide for him.
As Puja prepares to face her past, Sharda prays that Kushi will forgive her for the lie she has told. Together, a family once torn apart by love, discovers that love can also heal, but is it too late?
This book was a delight to read. It evokes the senses, the sights and sounds of the little village and the smells and tastes of Sharda's cooking. Each sentence is full of rich layers and beautiful language that draws you in over and over again.
I completely adored Kushi and her strength within the book. She fights for what is right, and this will always catch the attention of a reader. The letters scattered throughout are written with such richness and authenticity, too. I also felt that the scene of the accident (when Kushi is seriously hurt) was really well written and it made my stomach flip at the thought that she may be dead. This didn't end once she was propped up in a hospital bed; there are moments when you think she won't make it, right until the end when you discover her ultimate fate.Raj is the opposite of Kushi; seemingly unloved he spends his days (and nights) getting into mischief and it is only when he is returned home by the police that Sharda begins to open up to him. I really liked his transformation throughout the book, going from self-centred teen to having his eyes opened to the world around him and how little other people have in comparison to him. When he makes a decision to put others first, he shows a different side to the original selfish character we meet at the beginning of the book. Not only that, but we learn why he has behaved in such a way.
Sharda and Puji's story is the most fascinating – their broken homes and hearts, their second chances dealt with in two different ways. I loved Puja and Sharda equally, both had been hurt badly and both had fought their way through it. Their strength and defiance in the face of a judgemental society is thought-provoking. As I read I wondered, 'What would I have done if I had been in their position?'
This book is beautifully written. It is full of gorgeous language and magical descriptions and I didn't want the insight into their worlds to end. The tastes and smells were delicious to read, and the love between the two sisters felt simply immeasurable.
This is definitely a must read, especially if you enjoy the rich writings of Joanne Harris or Jeanette Winterson.