Mukta, a girl from a small Indian village, is brought to Mumbai to live with Tara’s family in order to avoid her fate of becoming a temple prostitute. Mukta and Tara form a friendship and Mukta seems to be out of danger. But, she is kidnapped from their home in the middle of the night and Tara blames herself. Tara and her father move to Los Angeles to escape the heartache, but when Tara’s father dies she discovers that Mukta may still be alive. The book begins with Tara returning to Mumbai eleven years later to search for Mukta. Will she find her, or is it too late?
The book jumps to different periods of time, starting in 2004 and ends in 2008. The timeline also jumps back to the late 1980s and the narrative switches between Mukta and Tara’s perspectives. Tara, as a character, didn’t develop as deeply as I would expect for a book with almost 400 pages. It was disappointing because the majority of the story is told from her perspective, and her story is an interesting one.
Luckily, Mukta’s narrative and backstory were fascinating. We learn about her upbringing as the daughter of a temple prostitute and the questions surrounding who her father could be. Mukta was definitely my favorite characther, and while her story is heartbreaking, she is resilient and admirable.
The premise of this book is great, but the execution not so much. I enjoy historical fiction and learning about another place and time in history. The bustling city of Mumbai and the tradition and culture of Mukta’s village were something new to me. I just wish the writing and editing had been a bit better.
The first half of the book was great because it focused on Mukta. But, the second half dragged on, especially because I guessed the twist within the first quarter of the book. There were a few really beautiful passages, but the dialogue never sounded like real people talking.
Overall, this was fine, but it was too long.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins for a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.