Sabitri lived a hard life in India, losing her chance at education and love through her own indiscretion. Her choices reverberate through the generations; her daughter, Bela, flees to America with her lover but finds that life and love aren’t quite so simple, while Bela’s daughter, Tara, struggles to find her own path after estranging herself from both parents and dropping out of college.
“But I’m strangely comforted, too. In the context of my grandmother’s life, mine seems a little less desperate.”
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s latest novel, Before We Visit the Goddess, is one of those books that is impossible to summarize accurately in just a few short sentences. This novel is, first and foremost, about love: love between wife and husband, love between mothers and daughters, love that spans years and generations. It’s also about secrets, and how secrets can both define us and divide us and how they can affect future generations. It’s about grit and success, losing and rediscovering, choices and consequences. Written with Divakaruni’s beautiful prose, this book goes back and forth in time and switches between different narrators. This is a gorgeous novel, one that stays in your thoughts for a long time.