From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Orphaned at birth, Korobi (Bengali for oleander ) always wondered why her mother named her after a beautiful but poisonous plant. By the dramatic conclusion of this utterly transfixing novel, she finds out, and we are left whirling in the wake of Divakaruni's (One Amazing Thing, 2010) newest penetrating tale. An entrancing storyteller with an unerring moral compass, Divakaruni has created a superbly well-plotted, charming, yet hard-hitting novel of family, marriage, and class, a veritable Indian Jane Austen novel spiked with racial prejudice and religious violence. Raised in Kolkata by her sweet if burdened grandmother and her grandfather, a famous and irascible lawyer, Korobi is a modest, smart, and unworldly college student when she meets wealthy, stylish, and jaded Rajat. Much to the surprise of his high-society friends and the horror of his megarich ex-lover, Rajat proposes to quiet, unhip Korobi, who feels as though she has stepped into a fairy tale, cuing us to expect tragedy. But there is no anticipating the complexities and implications of the crises and obstacles Korobi and Rajat face in light of Korobi's resolute quest for the truth about her father as she journeys across harshly xenophobic post-9/11 America. From baneful secrets, poisonous misunderstandings and conflicts, and transcendent love, Divakaruni has forged another tender, wise, and resonant page-turner.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Korobi Roy is a sheltered young Hindu woman from Kolkata. Soon after she becomes engaged to Rajat Bose, the scion of a wealthy family, Korobi learns that the father she believed dead is actually alive in the United States. When she flies to the States to find her father, a complicated series of events unravels the smug assurance of her fiance's family, exposing the flaws and the strengths of the people around her. Divakaruni, who has examined the lives of Indian women living in the United States in works like The Arranged Marriage and Mistress of Spices, introduces a cast of characters who defy their stereotypes. Korobi's ideal sacrificing grandmother has secrets of her own. Asif Ali, the Boses' Muslim chauffeur, is much more than a humble servant. Bhattacharya, an ambitious politician, has a heart; and Rajat's little sister, Pia, has amazing courage. VERDICT Exploring the United States and India in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, Divakaruni has crafted a beautiful, complex story in which caste, class, religion, and race are significant factors informing people's world views.--Andrea Kempf, formerly with Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.