Tale of three generations book ‘Before We Visit the Goddess’

There are moments in the narrative when the reader is overwhelmed by its complicated mix of emotions. Author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s latest, a tale of three generations of mothers and daughters, begins with Sabitri, whose travels from a small village in West Bengal as a temple priest’s daughter, to Kolkata, where she finds love, loss and a fiery identity. The Indian-American poet and author, known for The Palace of Illusions and The Mistress of Spices, plays with familiar themes from her earlier works. While Sabitri’s story gathers in the reader’s minds like the ominous dark clouds, Bela’s defiance is not very distant from her mother’s. Tara is further alienated, growing up in the US, a child to immigrant parents, whose sense of identity colludes with Sabitri’s. Divakaruni also brings in references to mythology, to Savitri, who follows Yama to the edge of the world to get back her husband’s soul. The preamble to the book begins with verses from the Manusmriti (“Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased”) and Jean Thompson’s Fire Dreams (“Everybody lives two ways. The first is simple, the second less so”).
Additionally, vignettes of Sabitri’s letters to Tara appear, part rumination, part-lessons, aptly inserted between narratives, only to make sense towards the end. Divakaruni’s style is lyrical but not cloying. She shuttles across continents and various narratives with much composure and ease. The men are listless, however, appearing in fits and bouts. The book available at online bookstore. Others books of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni any one buy books online.

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