Book review of Oleander girl - contd ....
by Ananya Sarkar
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At certain points, not without necessity, Divakaruni makes the description poignant and imaginative. For instance, when Bimal Roy suddenly dies and grief pervades the Roy household, it is given an apt comparison – “Stillness has invaded 26 Tarak Prasad Roy Road, the stillness of a fairy tale where dark magic has cast the kingdom into a waking dream.” Korobi’s reconciliation with her grandmother after overcoming her feeling of betrayal is also touching: “She was sitting by the shuttered windows in the melancholy, slatted moonlight. I sat by her. We didn’t speak, but I leaned into her and felt something begin to mend, as when one blind end of a fractured bone finds its partner under the skin.”
A delineation of Indian ceremonies and the Indian way of life is done with accuracy. There are also topical references to the Akashbani Kalikata radio, Parle-G biscuits and chocolate-filled sandesh from Ganguram Sweets (things which a Calcuttan would easily be able to identify) which makes the milieu come alive for us.
However, the way things easily resolve themselves towards the end is not that convincing. We wonder how all the knots can be unwound so smoothly and at the same time.
Barring this one point, the novel is on the whole an enjoyable read. The feeling of suspense and anticipation is played upon in every chapter, which makes the reader eager to turn the pages. At no point, does the interest sag, and herein lies the author’s credit. ***