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Karma

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Compelling and Beautifully Told - A Must Read

    Karma is a story that should be read; Not only for its subject matter - a massacre in India that I never knew happened - but for its beauty. Cathy Ostlere tells the story through diary entries and imbues her words with more emotion than I could have ever imagined. A mere 10 pages in and I was teary-eyed and connected to 15 year old Maya. I felt the loss of her mother like a weight in the pit of my stomach. Small details, like the way Maya's father clutches her mother's urn, speak volumes. Details like that litter the pages of this verse novel.

    Maya's journey to a country she barely knows, let alone understands, is jarring. Each of her emotions jumps off the page in flowing, vivid verse. Historical events are weaved flawlessly into story, making everything even more tense. The half of the book from Sandeep's POV is just as well-written as Maya's half. His emotions, though much more sarcastic, are as raw and honest. Each of them has their own story to tell, they just happen to come together.

    Ostlere gives the reader a view into the life of a girl torn between two worlds and two religions. Hindu and Sikh people war against one another and Maya feels caught in the middle, part of each, but never really comfortable with either. I was drawn in by the massacre - and it is a massacre, with violence and death - and couldn't help but continue to turn the pages. Maya and Sandeep still linger in my mind. As does the message the book sends. Despite the difficult subject matter, Karma is an addicting read. A quick one too. The ARC tops out at 521 pages, but I read it in day, unable to put it down.

    Karma is part historical fiction, part coming-of-age, but 100% heartfelt. From Maya's sadness, to her fear; her surrender, to her survival; to Sandeep's courage, compassion and love; each poem leaves the reader with a message. This is a story about surviving. It's about living through the hardest of circumstances and suffering the most terrible losses, but seeing the hope that still lingers and the goodness that others can still offer. Ostlere shows the reader a world of hatred and cruelty, but ultimately tells us that all is not lost and even though human kind is capable of a great many terrible things, we are also capable of a love like no other.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is a beautifully written novel.

    Karma is defined as action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in reincarnation. This is the main theme woven throughout this novel. The main part of this story takes place during the riots that broke out after Indria Gahndi is gunned down in 1984. Maya is the main character in this novel. She writes down the unfolding of these horrific events in her diary. The riots are between the Hindus and Sikh. The turmoil between these two religious groups results in bloodshed and senseless killings. The background controversy in this story is significant because it's also an internal conflict raging inside Maya. Her father is Hindu and her mother is Sikh. Her parents love each other but cannot escape their difference in beliefs. Maya feels torn between them. She doesn't quite fit in anywhere. Maya's character is very interesting. She starts out as an average teenage girl. Maya's world is thrown into turmoil and she must overcome heart wrenching obstacles to find her way. Her journey into India is one of self discovery and forgiveness. Maya has to choose her path or it will be chosen for her. When Maya looses her voice her story is told through the eyes of Sandeep. Sandeep watches over Maya as a favor to his sister. He is intrigued and enthralled by Maya. His sister thinks that Sandeep can be the one person who can lure Maya from her internal prison. In a way Sandeep and Maya's stories are similar. They are both trying to find out where they belong. I liked Sandeep's character a lot. He's is funny and charming. I really enjoyed reading about him.
    Overall I thought this story was fantastic. Even though this book is over 500 pages it's very fast paced. It only took me a few days to read it. Cathy Ostlere did a great job with this novel. I experienced a lot of emotions while reading Kharma. It's funny how a few words can say so much sometimes. This novel is written in beautifully constructed verse. It is a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

    Please read my comment :) ;)

    I love books in verse like this because it's easy to read and a fast read so you can read another book real fast an at school i'm doing a reading log where you read 30 minutes every night and do a 2-3 word sentence about it and how many pages you read to what page and it's really boring

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    Wonderful!!!

    Such a great book to read and a truly wonderful love story <3!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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