Born in a big old Calcutta house on the same night, the wild, tragic night their fathers were both mysteriously lost, Sudha and Anju are cousins. Closer even than sisters, they share clothes, possessions, worries, dreams - and three mothers, who preside over the matriarchal Chatterjee household. But when Sudha discovers a terrible secret about their past, their mutual loyalty is sorely tested.
A family crisis forces the mothers to start the serious business of arranging the girls' marriages, and the inseparable pair are torn apart. Sudha moves to her new family'as home in rural Bengal, while Anju joins her immigrant husband in California. But nothing has prepared them for the pain, aswell as the joy, that each will have to face in her new life.
Rooted in Indian folklore and steeped in the mysticism of ancient tales, this bright, jewel-like novel shines its light on the bonds of family, on love and loss, against the realities of traditional arranged marriages, and the adjustments needed for modern life.
'Magically affecting...her intricate tapestry of old and new worlds shines with a rare luminosity'
'Divakaruni strikes a delicate balance between realism and fantasy...a touching celebration of enduring love'
'A pleasure to read...a novel fragrant in rhythm and language'
'Divakaruni's books possess a power that is both transporting and healing...serious and entrancing'