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The Vine of Desire by Chitra Banerjee…
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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Most of the book is a fairly good read, but not outstanding. The final scene is totally unexpected, and totally perfect. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Oct 24, 2013 |
Divkaruni has restored my faith in Indian writers. It has been torn to shreds by Kiran Desai. [return][return]"Vine of Desire" is a sad and tired story told in beautifully rich and original language. In a couple of places the characters motives were inscrutable to me.[return][return]The ending kind of just kind of fades out. It was as unsatisfying and unsubstantial as cotton candy.[return][return]Favorite passages;[return][return]Today they ( )
  Clueless | Jul 8, 2013 |
I didn't like this book as much as the first one, but it was still an excellent read. ( )
  goldnyght | May 28, 2010 |
Having loved Sister of My Heart, I had great expectations from its sequel. But what a huge disappointment!!!!!!!!!!   The author has begun the book in such a way that even if you haven’t read the last book you’ll not be lost. The main protagonists in the novel are Sudha, Anjli, Sunil (Anju’s husband) & Dayita (Sudha’s months old Daughter). The book starts with Anju’s miscarriage & its effect on her and her marriage. Anju & her husband are settled in U.S. and for her support Anju calls Sudha. Who leaves everything to come & help her sister of heart.   In the last book it was shown that Sunil might be having a crush on Sudha and that’s the reason the he is shown not to be very happy with her coming to U.S. The rest of the novel traces the journey of each of these characters.   Anju is shown trying to come to terms with her life, trying to complete her education and find her freedom. She is fighting the truth that her husband might be in love with her cousin.   Sunil is a confused soul who can not understand whom to love and how to behave with Sudha around. However he showers all his love on Dayita.   Sudha too is confused, she has come to U.S but knows that instead of helping her sister she has become a catalyst for breaking her sister’s marriage. However she is not willing to go back to India for her own reasons.   What forms rest of the story is how these three characters spend their life, fighting each other in some way or the other. Sudha meets a doctor (he is the only character in this novel who brings some smile on your face) & befriends him. The effect of this friendship on Sunil brings major changes in each of the character’s lives. Everybody takes their own path; everybody finds freedom and in some ways achieves their dreams or come closer to their dreams. Why is the book a let down?? 1. 75% of the novel is in third person, which is irritating to a large extent. 2. There is no Story at all…its like Indian movies. The author has written a sequel for the sake of writing. She doesn’t possess any solid material to stretch the story. The novel tries to move like a movie plot telling the point of view of three people at the same time, when u r reading a book it tends to become confusing. 3. In my review of the previous book I had written that there are small stories sprayed all around the book which are very lovely…in this novel too there are these stories but they are plain boring, just like the book. They keep going on and on and on….  After reading this book I felt that the author has become over indulgent. Some books go into philosophy and poetic stuff. This book falls in that category but the only problem is that it’s not needed. Excess of anything is bad and that’s what has happened here. To dish out too much message the author has forgotten the real plot and made the novel real boring.   Am one of those readers who reads every page and trust me I have skipped 30% of pages in this book. I don’t why did the author stretch this 100-150 pages worth story to 400 Pgs!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( )
  bookslifenmore | Jun 13, 2009 |
Lady Wombat says:

I've been teaching Divakaruni's SISTER OF MY HEART for the past two years in my multicultural literature class. Each year, it is one of the most popular reads of the semester, in lager part because of the romance and fairy tale elements, I believe. I usually don't like to read sequels to books I'm teaching, as I find that my memories of a book get muddied -- did this happen in the book we're reading, or in the later book? But as I'm not gong to be teaching this year, I decided to go ahead and find out how Divakaruni decided to continue the story of Anju and Sudha, two cousins raised almost as sisters in India.

At first, I found this new book difficult; the narrative voice is far different than the first person alternating narratives of SISTER. But as I read, I began to see why Divakaruni had chosen the multiple ways of narrating her story (switching point of view, switching from the first person to the third, switching discourses). Sudha and Anju are no longer as sure of themselves as they were as teenage girls; the third person allows Divakaruni to show us her characters from a distance, from the outside, almost as they themselves are feeling -- distances from their home,as immigrants in the U. S., but also distanced from themselves. Who am I, each struggles to discover. What do I desire? While the answers to these questions aren't as pleasing to readers as they were in SISTER, they made for a rich, thoughtful study in character.
1 vote Wombat | Jul 17, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 038549730X, Paperback)

The Vine of Desire is peopled by Indian immigrants and--just as palpably--by their hopes and dreams. As one character says, "All immigrants are dreamers, but they're practical about it. They know what's OK to dream about, and what isn't." Though it's a sequel to Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's Sister of My Heart, the novel stands alone as an exploration of the contemporary immigrant experience. Anju and Sudha, cousins and best friends since their Calcutta girlhood, find themselves in the Bay Area, Anju with a husband and Sudha with a baby daughter. Each covets what the other has until finally their relationship collapses. Anju finds solace among her fellow Berkeley students, while the beautiful Sudha learns, for the first time, what it's like to pay her own way. Digressive and overwritten, The Vine of Desire can try your patience, but it's so well plotted and compassionately told that you can't help but care about these immigrant dreams. --Claire Dederer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:29 -0400)

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The beloved characters of Divakaruni's bestselling novel "Sister of My Heart "are reunited in this powerful narrative in which the emotional bond between two lifelong friends is challenged, as the husband of one becomes dangerously attracted to the other.… (more)

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