Book synopsis(via Goodreads):
India, 1986: Mukta, a ten-year-old girl from the lower caste Yellamma cult of temple prostitutes has come of age to fulfill her destiny of becoming a temple prostitute. In an attempt to escape this legacy that binds her, Mukta is transported to a foster family in Bombay. There she discovers a friend in the high spirited eight-year-old Tara, the tomboyish daughter of the family, who helps her recover from the wounds of her past. Tara introduces Mukta to a different world—ice cream and sweets, poems and stories, and a friendship the likes of which she has never experienced before.As time goes by, their bond grows to be as strong as that between sisters. In 1993, Mukta is kidnapped from Tara’s room.
Eleven years later, Tara who blames herself for what happened, embarks on an emotional journey to search for the kidnapped Mukta only to uncover long buried secrets in her own family.
Moving from a remote village in India to the bustling metropolis of Bombay, to Los Angeles and back again, amidst the brutal world of human trafficking, this is a heartbreaking and beautiful portrait of an unlikely friendship—a story of love, betrayal, and redemption—which ultimately withstands the true test of time.
***Many thanks to Net Galley and Bloomhill books for the advance reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. ***
This insomniac's opinion:
What a stunning, beautiful novel about the power of love and friendship. I felt as though I was transported to India, both in the 1980s and present time. I fell in love with both Tara and Mukta and found myself riveted to the story, finishing it in just a short couple of days.
The writing is rich, the characters are well fleshed out and honestly flawed. I had to put the book down several times to wipe my tears and catch my breath. It was deeply melancholy and extraordinarily beautiful.
Worth staying up all night to read?