Sunday, April 10, 2016

Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

A beautiful, powerful new novel from the bestselling, award-winning author of Sister of My Heart and The Mistress of Spices about three generations of mothers and daughters who must discover their greatest source of strength in one another—a masterful, brilliant tale of a family both united and torn apart by ambition and love.

The daughter of a poor baker in rural Bengal, India, Sabitri yearns to get an education, but her family’s situation means college is an impossible dream. 

Then an influential woman from Kolkata takes Sabitri under her wing, but her generosity soon proves dangerous after the girl makes a single, unforgiveable misstep. Years later, Sabitri’s own daughter, Bela, haunted by her mother’s choices, flees abroad with her political refugee lover—but the America she finds is vastly different from the country she’d imagined. As the marriage crumbles and Bela is forced to forge her own path, she unwittingly imprints her own child, Tara, with indelible lessons about freedom, heartbreak, and loyalty that will take a lifetime to unravel.

In her latest novel, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni explores the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, and the different kinds of love that bind us across generations. Before We Visit the Goddess captures the gorgeous complexity of these multi-generational and transcontinental bonds, sweeping across the twentieth century from the countryside of Bengal, India, to the streets of Houston, Texas—an extraordinary journey told through a sparkling symphony of voices

Bitter sweet with a beautiful ending!

I've liked how the author decided to follow three generation of women from the same family and picture how delicate, fragile and complex can be a mother-daughter relationship.

It's a touching story of three women who learned some lessons the hard way and who were often too private, too guilty or too angry to communicate their fellings for each others.
Misunderstanding and a lot of love to comprehend that life is not an easy journey but that we must face it to grow and shine.

Only point that was not often clear was Tara life. The souvenirs and the story going back and forth with Bela and Sabitri were well written but with Tara, every time I had to think of what I've learned so far and take some time to connect the dots.
But the whole book was a real cool read.

Really loved the ending. It was very well done and very emotional.

"It's called learning by heart, you know," he says. "You can remember anything if you use your heart."
"He shook his head, thought it hurt like damnation to do so. Never, he thought, but perhaps it was a different question he was answering. He focused on the feel of her cheek against his fingers, the soft give of her aging flesh, imprinting it on his memory against the years to come."
*Arc provided by Netgalley
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

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