Oleander Girl: A Novel

Oleander Girl: A Novel

by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
4.8 8

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Oleander Girl: A Novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Beloved bestselling author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has been hailed by Abraham Verghese as a “gifted storyteller” and by People magazine as a “skilled cartographer of the heart.” Now, Divakaruni returns with her most gripping novel yet, a sweeping, suspenseful coming-of-age tale about a young woman who leaves India for America on a search that will transform her life.

THOUGH SHE WAS ORPHANED AT BIRTH, the wild and headstrong Korobi Roy has enjoyed a privileged childhood with her adoring grandparents, spending her first seventeen years sheltered in a beautiful, crumbling old mansion in Kolkata. But despite all that her grandparents have done for her, she is troubled by the silence that surrounds the circumstances of her parents’ death and clings fiercely to her only inheritance from them: the love note she found, years ago, hidden in a book of poetry that had belonged to her mother. As she grows, Korobi dreams of one day finding a love as powerful as her parents’, and it seems her wish has finally come true when she meets the charming Rajat, the only son of a high-profile business family.

Shortly after their engagement, however, a sudden 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 decides to undertake 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.

 With flawless narrative instinct and a boundless sympathy for her irrepressible characters, in Oleander Girl Divakaruni brings us a perfect treat of a novel— moving, wise, and unforgettable. As The Wall Street Journal raves, “Divakaruni emphasizes the cathartic force of storytelling with sumptuous prose. . . . She defies categorization.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451695694
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 03/19/2013
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 222,997
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the author of sixteen books, including Oleander Girl, The Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart, Palace of Illusions, One Amazing Thing, and Before We Visit the Goddess. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times, and has won, among other prizes, an American Book Award. Born in India, she currently lives in Texas and is the McDavid professor of Creative Writing at the University of Houston.


Houston, Texas, and San Jose, California

Date of Birth:

July 29, 1956

Place of Birth:

Kolkata, India


B.A. in English, Kolkata University 1976; Ph.D. in English, University of California at Berkeley, 1984

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Oleander Girl: A Novel 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put the book down until I finished. The main character went through many things and her love with Rajat felt so real. Her adventure to America was magical and at the same time very dangerous. The characters were so well-round that some of their actions agitate me. I would recommend this book to anyone.
bongie More than 1 year ago
Pleasant read about a Indian family and the main character Korobi who searches for her father. She leaves India for America to find him and her bravery is awesome. Glad I read this book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Characters in a novel make a story come alive. If I can care about them, I finish the book; otherwise, I put it aside. Chitra Divakaruni spins tales that infuse a reader's heart with emotions he/she can resonate with. She gives us characters with whom we can live with on a daily basis. The characters in Chitra's novel "Oleander Girl" not only bond with me but also inspire me. Korobi, the protagonist in this novel is one such character. I am fascinated with this young woman who reminds me of myself when I was growing up. this is the story of Korobi's life journey and discovery of self. In the spirit of the story "Araby's" protagonist, Korobi sets out to find who she is, where she belongs, and what she desires. The only difference is that Korobi's discovery of self, although filled with intrigue and heart ache, is not one of disappointment. She learns the truth about herself and is brave enough to embrace it. Korobi is not the only character in the book one is drawn to. Her grandfather is a person that is larger than life - strict, conservative, adherent to his values, yet vulnerable. He has a soft spot for Korobi and tries to protect her from harm. Korobi's fiance, Rajat, on the other hand is weak and takes his strength from Korobi's love for him. Asif, the driver is another character that inspires me with his courage and undying love for a family he has literally adopted. Sonia is not a likeable character because of her craftiness and clever ways. As I move through the book, I start to live in the world of these characters. They become alive and move alongside me. I can feel their pulse, their emotions, and feelings as I follow their destination in to the early hours of the morning till I reach the conclusion. I am reminded of the twists and turns in  Kate Chopin's stories. this story too holds me enthralled, and I keep holding my breath long after I finish reading. I sit in my bed clasping the book trying to separate story telling from reality. i have lived with the characters of "Oleander Girl" for so long that it's hard to acknowledge that they are, after all, a work of fiction, and I have to let them go. Chitra Divakaruni is one of those story tellers who have a magical touch. Not only do her stories win the hearts of her readers, they are there to stay.   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago