Oleander Girl

Oleander Girl From the bestselling author of One Amazing Thing a sweeping suspenseful atmospheric coming of age novel about a young woman who leaves India for America on a search that will transform her life Bel

From the bestselling author of One Amazing Thing, a sweeping, suspenseful, atmospheric coming of age novel about a young woman who leaves India for America on a search that will transform her life.Beloved by critics and readers, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has been hailed by Junot D az as a brilliant storyteller and by People magazine as a skilled cartographer of the heaFrom the bestselling author of One Amazing Thing, a sweeping, suspenseful, atmospheric coming of age novel about a young woman who leaves India for America on a search that will transform her life.Beloved by critics and readers, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has been hailed by Junot D az as a brilliant storyteller and by People magazine as a skilled cartographer of the heart Now, Divakaruni returns with her most gripping novel yet.Orphaned at birth, seventeen year old Korobi Roy is the scion of a distinguished Kolkata family and has enjoyed a privileged, sheltered childhood with her adoring grandparents But she is troubled by the silence that surrounds her parents death and clings fiercely to her only inheritance from them the love note she found hidden in her mother s book of poetry Korobi dreams of one day finding a love as powerful as her parents , and it seems her wish has come true when she meets the charming Rajat, the only son of a high profile business family.But shortly after their engagement, a heart attack kills Korobi s grandfather, revealing serious financial problems and a devastating secret about Korobi s past Shattered by this discovery and by her grandparents betrayal, Korobi undertakes a courageous search across post 9 11 America to find her true identity Her dramatic, often startling journey will, ultimately, thrust her into the most difficult decision of her life.

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Oleander Girl

  1. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award winning author and poet Her themes include the Indian experience, contemporary America, women, immigration, history, myth, and the joys and challenges of living in a multicultural world Her work is widely known, as she has been published in over 50 magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in over 50 anthologies Her works have been translated into 29 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Hindi and Japanese Divakaruni also writes for children and young adults.Her novels One Amazing Thing, Oleander Girl, Sister of My Heart and Palace of Illusions are currently in the process of being made into movies chitradivakaruni books Her newest novel is Before We Visit the Goddess about 3 generations of women grandmother, mother and daughter who each examine the question what does it mean to be a successful woman Simon Schuster.She was born in India and lived there until 1976, at which point she left Calcutta and came to the United States She continued her education in the field of English by receiving a Master s degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and a Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley.To earn money for her education, she held many odd jobs, including babysitting, selling merchandise in an Indian boutique, slicing bread in a bakery, and washing instruments in a science lab At Berkeley, she lived in the International House and worked in the dining hall She briefly lived in Illinois and Ohio, but has spent much of her life in Northern California, which she often writes about She now lives in Texas, which has found its way into her upcoming book, Before We Visit the Goddess.Chitra currently teaches in the nationally ranked Creative Writing program at the Univ of Houston She serves on the Advisory board of Maitri in the San Francisco Bay Area and Daya in Houston Both these are organizations that help South Asian or South Asian American women who find themselves in abusive or domestic violence situations She is also closely involved with Pratham, an organization that helps educate children especially those living in urban slums in India.She has judged several prestigious awards, such as the National Book Award and the PEN Faulkner Award.Two of her books, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, have been made into movies by filmmakers Gurinder Chadha and Paul Berges an English film and Suhasini Mani Ratnam a Tamil TV serial respectively Her novels One Amazing Thing and Palace of Illusions have currently been optioned for movies Her book Arranged Marriage has been made into a play and performed in the U.S and upcoming, May in Canada River of Light, an opera about an Indian woman in a bi cultural marriage, for which she wrote the libretto, has been performed in Texas and California She lives in Houston with her husband Murthy She has two sons, Anand and Abhay whose names she has used in her children s novels.Chitra loves to connect with readers on her Facebook author page, facebook chitradivakaruni, and on Twitter, cdivakaruni.For information about her books, please visit chitradivakaruni , where you can also sign up for her newsletter.

846 Reply to “Oleander Girl”

  1. There was a phase in my life when I would only read Indian authors I was an international student in London and I guess read Indian authors was how I dealt with the constant ache for home at that time It was during this time that I read the book sister of my heart and fell in love with Chitra s style of storytelling I have read most of her works after that I won a copy of the oleander girl I was mildly surprised and very excited to get the book The story is amazing and doesn t disappoint you for [...]

  2. I wanted so to love this, as One Amazing Thing is one of my 5 star reads of the past However this one did not touch me in quiet the same way I am thinking that it was not the story, but rather the main characters whom I did not connect with That said, Divakaruni writes beautifully I was able to get a sense of the culture, the tradition and the pride and sense of family of these characters I actually enjoyed the secondary characters better than the main couple of this story Especially Korobi s gr [...]

  3. Sister of my Heart was a wonderful book and the reason I sought out by this author.Oleander Girl was an OK read but nothing like Sister.I grew interested in young, headstrong, and naive Korobi and her story, although melodramatic at times Pia was a little sweetheart As for the other characters, I think I would have liked concise character development Just when I thought I knew one of them, they would start to act suspiciously or in a confusing manner Emotions ran hot and cold It may have been [...]

  4. I had this book since 2013 and finally picked it up to use towards a challenge A very good read, alternately set between Kolkata India and New York and Northern California Many facets to this novel loss, love, will, a search for one s heritage, forgiveness, betrayal and there was a great deal I learned about the Indian culture I became a fan of the author ever since I read her book of short stories, Arranged Marriage Stories, and was her author escort at the LA Times Festival of Books A very sat [...]

  5. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni returns to her home turf Kolkata with this book and she creates the city, characters and story beautifully in her book Oleander girl has mystery, romance, family, history, heritage, emotions, business, politics and scandal but what it has the most is the magic of Chitra Banerjee The feelings reach a different level when she explains the love, the fights, the misunderstandings, and the understandings between two lovers Love becomes eternal, beautiful and growing in her [...]

  6. Oleander Girl started off slow, but it improved I didn t entirely buy into Korobi and Rajat s romance to begin with It seemed very Tess of the d Urbervilles ish, with Rajat especially loving Korobi in part because of the environment and heritage from which he thought she came We saw in Hardy that this doesn t work out well, but Divakaruni s novel is not Hardy s, so things turn out a bit differently in this case At other times, the story seemed very cliche Girl goes off right before marriage in a [...]

  7. Brief review sorry This is one of those books that is best served where the surprises are as unspoiled as possible.I absolutely loved this book I haven t read many of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni s books this is my second of hers but I want to find her entire backlist.I think what struck me most about this book is how easy it is to take for granted the idea of knowing where you come from Korobi thought she did, even though her parents are dead And once she learned that her entire life was essentia [...]

  8. I liked this book, but I didn t LOVE it like I do so many of this author s other books The story starts out in a great way as we are introduced to Korobi, named after the Oleander flower which is both beautiful and poisonous and learn of her life in fairly modern day Kolkata where she is being raised by her grandparents since the death of her mother after childbirth There is a mystery surrounding her birth and there seems to be a promising story ready to unfold on the horizon But the story doesn [...]

  9. Lovely book, oops almost sounds like nice but it s than lovely, it s gently but firmly compelling and it s fascinating to see the old ways of India and modernism fuse within its lead character I read a lot of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and with Oleander Girl, I sat down early evening, and didn t get up until I finished it Oh my.

  10. Beautiful story If you have read any of Divakaruni s books, run, don t walk to get this one I tried so hard to pace myself but finished it in three days The story inspires strength, exploration, family closeness, and is another peak into cultures and lives of Indian families Loved it.

  11. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni s Oleander Girl tells the story of Korobi Roy, a strong willed and spirited young woman who, despite the deaths of her parents when she was an infant, has known privilege with her grandparents amid their sprawling house in Kolkata Much to the delight of her grandparents, Korobi has found love with the doting but elusive Rajat Bose and will soon marry into a family among the upper echelons of society Still, in the face of all her life s joy Korobi is listless she longs [...]

  12. The story of an orphaned girl, Korobi, raised by her grandparents and her quest for her father A breezy read For me, this was mostly because it got me very nostalgic about my own childhood, when my grandparents were my security, my world Things like names given to specific gold ornaments reminded me so much of my own grandmother who lived all her youth in Kolkata Oleander refers to the flower called Korobi in Bengali That the flower is beautiful and strong like the central character, is a softly [...]

  13. 3.5 Loved the character of Korobi, her relationship with her grandparents reminded me of the relationship I had with mine Her impending marriage to Rajat, I though a mistake from the beginning and I did not too much care for him, though I did love the character of his mother Loved reading about the culture and customs of India, the strife between those who want to keep things the old way and those who embrace the new Really rooted for Korobi, on her travels, physically and mentally and hoped thi [...]

  14. To begin with, I d like to thank Hitesh for introducing me to another awesome writer It has been on my to do list for this year to read a lot of Indian literature and explore of Indian writers Chitra Banerjee is one of those few writers who has a most stunning style of writing and I most willingly wait to read of her books.The story revolves around Korobi, a seventeen year old, beautiful girl, who loses her mother right after her birth with no news about her father except to believe that he wa [...]

  15. I must confess I love all things Divakarunai I m captivated by her writing style which is a marriage of simple, effective language, rich imagery and excellent characterization So when I learnt that her latest book was out, I wasted no time in buying it I m so glad I did, because I wasn t disappointed In fact, despite certain flaws that I found with the plot, this is one of Divakarunai s best What I loved most about this book are the depth of the relationships We learnt in literature class a life [...]

  16. The first chapter of Oleander Girl starts as 17 year old Korabi wakes up from a watery dream She sees a visage of her deceased mother in the room, and receives a mysterious message about searching for something across the ocean There is no time for her to decipher the dream, as the next day she is to celebrate her engagement to Rajat, the son of a prestigious family in Kolkata, India The marriage would not only bring together two people who are very much in love, but it will also unite a traditi [...]

  17. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an author I admire, particularly as her novels deal with Indian women and their multiple roles identities And in many of her books she explores issues of identity vis a vis the immigrant s experience Oleander Girl is the coming of age story of 18 year old Korobi who is named after the beautiful but poisonous oleander who finds out that the loving grandparents who have raised her after her parents death have betrayed her trust by hiding the truth about her parents It [...]

  18. Set in Kolkata the book charts the journey of Korobi, a girl whom everyone would want to protect with their lives With her marriage fixed to Kolkata s most eligible bachelor her life was set, so she thought But when her grandfather passes away on her engagement night her life comes to a standstill She drowns herself in sorrow only to be jolted out by a truth which changes her life.Rajat loves Korobi to death but his past in the form of his persistent Ex girlfriend Sonia is something that he has [...]

  19. Divakaruni has penned a coming of age tale of Korobi Roy, whose mother died in childbirth She was reared by her devoted, but traditional Hindu grandparents The novel opens with the newly engaged young lady seeking information about her parents mystifying relationship and deaths She had learned while quite young that she must not confront these issues The chain of events which ensues leads her to 9 11 America, but I will not introduce spoilers here.After reading her, One Amazing Thing , I was enc [...]

  20. I was completely entranced by this book the details, the story, the situations it takes you into a different world, a world of customs, traditions and the good old indian way of life Being an indian born and brought up in the U.S I related to several aspects of Korobi s personality, and understood her obligations and promises what was most captivating about the story is the way it was told Each characters point of view is brought into light nothing is one sided As a result, you are given the cha [...]

  21. Korobi Roy who has been named after the beautiful Oleander flower ,which is beautiful yet capable of defending itself from harm, is a seventeen year old setting out on a journey to discover her long lost father Betrothed to be married to a handsome and rich boy who loves and cares for her, Korobi is living her dream After the sudden death if her grandfather she discovers a dark secret that will finally explain her past yet tears her apart due to its viciousness Will she succeed to find her fathe [...]

  22. Predictable and highly chaotic Have loved Divakurni s previous books but this one was sub par Too many themes crowded into a book that resulted in a hodge podge of issues that were resolved in a rather simplistic way The main character is Korobi, an orphan, being raised by her grandparents in Kolkata She meets Rajat, the son of affluent business family So far, so good Then the plot unravels as Korobi finds about her missing father and decides to find him.If Divakurni had focused on a few issues [...]

  23. What a wonderful readSeventeen year old Korobi Roy named after a variety of Oleander , though orphaned at birth, has always known the love of her grandparents Her life is filled with tradition and the stability of India and time Yet Korobi feels something is missing But when she discovers a note from her mother to her dead father, it sparks a yearning for love that is overwhelming This was the first time I have seen India captured so beautiful, the imagery and character development kept this rea [...]

  24. Disclaimer I listened to an audiobook of Oleander Girl by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Which isn t the best way to absorb a book when it s filled with multiple secondary characters, all who want to have a voice, in a book which switches voices in alternating chapters As such, the beginning was slow for me and I was about 20 percent into listening before the storyline started to grab my attention Oh maybe I was just nosey and the story didn t capture my attention until the secret was revealed as af [...]

  25. If you re a regular follower of my reviews, you know that I have a special place in my heart for India I m intrigued by Indian culture and jump at the chance to read most any novel set in India or with Indian characters Oleander Girl did not disappoint.One of the conflicts Korobi faces is the clash between her traditional family and her fianc Rajat s modern family Korobi is caught in the middle, not sure where she fits in Most of the Indian books I ve read in the past focus on traditional Indian [...]

  26. Due to increased awareness of India and her people, books by Indo anglian writers are popular now than ever Due to this, many such writers have adjusted their writing to suit foreign readers sometimes compromising the integrity of the story being told Fortunately, the author of Oleander Girl stays true to her plot and characters throughout the book I particularly liked this All in all, this book tells a simple straightforward story of of the protagonist Korobi and her fianc Rajat with the usual [...]

  27. The story centres around Korobi Roy, who is an orphan who never knew her parents and was raised by her grandparents in a small city in India Right before she is to marry, she discovers information about her parents that had been withheld from her and she sets out to find out about her mother, and the father that she now realizes may still be alive in America Her journey leads her to new experiences that make her question some of the basic traditions, truths and expectations that she has grown u [...]

  28. I am a huge fan of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni so was happy to grab this book when it became available at the library I was not disappointed Ms Divakaruni tells a gripping tale in beautiful language In Korobi s story you can feel her desire to know about her parents, the love she has for her grandparents, her fiance, and her in laws to be, and her bewilderment at some of the situations she confronts in America You can see her becoming stronger as the book goes on Besides Korobi, there were a num [...]

  29. A very nice coming of age tale set in India Korobi was raised by her affluent grandparents when her mother died in childbirth It wasn t until her engagement to Rajat and a family tragedy that she discovers everything she thought she knew about herself was a lie Thus begins her quest to find the truth Never choose something because its easier.Altho some of the characters were under developed, there was enough intrigue to hold my attention A quick read I would recommend it and looking forward to h [...]

  30. I love stories about India I love coming of age stories I love rich and luscious tales that take you somewhere you wouldn t otherwise go This book contained all of that and .See the rest of this review here therelentlessreader.c

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