This segment consists of reviews of my Netgalley approved ARCS. I’m aiming to get a Netgalley News posted at least once a month but that all depends on publishers and whether they approve me!
Today’s Netgalley News is about…
“A sweeping, emotional journey of two childhood friends—one struggling to survive the human slave trade and the other on a mission to save her—two girls whose lives converge only to change one fateful night in 1993.
India, 1986: Mukta, a ten-year-old girl from the lower caste Yellamma cult of temple prostitutes has come of age to fulfill her destiny of becoming a temple prostitute. In an attempt to escape this legacy that binds her, Mukta is transported to a foster family in Bombay. There she discovers a friend in the high spirited eight-year-old Tara, the tomboyish daughter of the family, who helps her recover from the wounds of her past. Tara introduces Mukta to a different world—ice cream and sweets, poems and stories, and a friendship the likes of which she has never experienced before.As time goes by, their bond grows to be as strong as that between sisters. In 1993, Mukta is kidnapped from Tara’s room.
Eleven years later, Tara who blames herself for what happened, embarks on an emotional journey to search for the kidnapped Mukta only to uncover long buried secrets in her own family.
Moving from a remote village in India to the bustling metropolis of Bombay, to Los Angeles and back again, amidst the brutal world of human trafficking, this is a heartbreaking and beautiful portrait of an unlikely friendship—a story of love, betrayal, and redemption—which ultimately withstands the true test of time.“
Let’s start with a rating:
Definitely has to be a five moo rating because the writing is simply brilliant! So poetic and just damn amazing. Amita Trasi uses nature as a tool for description and to reflect feelings of characters in a way the reader can identify with.
So the two main characters Mukta and Tara are from very different backgrounds.
Mukta is the daughter of a temple prostitute and lives with her Amma (mother) and her grandmother. This way of life is called devdasis and usually passes from generation to generation. Devdasi women are classed as the lower caste in society and are generally incredibly poor. What happens to Mukta is truly horrifying, especially when you consider it happens in the real world today. I really found her to be the poetic character who found beauty in everything else, to escape from her own life. She is truly an amazing character with an amazing story, one you definitely need to read.
Tara however, is from a higher caste family and because of this receives an education, bought by her father. Her father is well-known in their local village as a zamindar’s son, and so a lot of the community listen to and respect him. She doesn’t know anything about the life that Mukta goes through. Despite this, I still really enjoyed reading Tara’s point of view. She has done wrong in her life and wishes to fix it. She is a determined character.
The change in time within this book can be confusing and have you flicking back and forth throughout the book. However, this change in time is needed in order to get the full story of what is going on and what went on in previous years. The leap from childhood to adulthood is heartbreaking and I feel as though childhood has been ripped away for Mukta.
I felt like the ending was a brilliant way to finish off this book. As a reader, you feel satisfied even though there isn’t an abrupt, shocking ending. You feel as though the book ends at a nice time so you don’t ultimately know what’s going to happen but you still have a fair idea.
Beautiful writing, amazing characters, satisfying plot.
My overall feelings after reading this book are…
A big thank you to Netgalley for this review copy and to Bloomhill Books for approving my request.
Watch out for another Netgalley News pretty soon!