Author: Kamala Nair
Pub: June 2011; Hachette Book Group
Genre: Literary, Contemporary
Etc: Geographical location - India; Arc from NetGalley
The Short of It
Fairy tales, truthfully, aren’t always happy.
The Long of It
Rakhee is an engaged woman still haunted by the secrets of her family’s past. After receiving a letter from India, Rakhee realizes she must return to her family’s country and confront her legacy.
Through a memory written down for her fiancé to read, we discover what happened that one summer when Rakhee stumbled upon the hidden garden and the girl imprisoned there.
The Thoughts about It
I had no idea what to expect before picking this book up. Admittedly, I don’t read as much literature that takes place outside of Northern America or Europe, which means, I’m fairly ignorant with India’s traditions, language, and pronunciations (for names). And although I stuttered through the names at first and had a difficult time remembering the associations, the story captured me rather unexpectedly.
And it was unexpected because truthfully, I wasn’t terribly fond of the flashback format. Because we were listening to Rakhee’s story of when she was ten, I felt somewhat disconnected to the narrator. BUT this was ONLY TEMPORARY.
Ah, Rakhee! You curious little ten year old. American bred, the world on India was a culture shock. Mysteries and family secrets OF COURSE are too difficult for you to understand. So when your cousins whisper to you that there is a witch living in the woods behind the house you know that it’s a story. And much like any good American adolescent, if your family says not to, you’re gonna explore.
But it’s not a witch that Rakhee meets. It’s a sixteen-year-old girl locked away in a cottage. She tells Rakhee her magical story of how she came to be.
Their meeting alters not just their future, but also Rakhee’s whole family.