Genre: General Fiction
Series, if any: NA
Date of publication: 20 January 2017
No. Of pages: 320
Caroline fell in love with India through the stories that her nanny used to tell her. She dreamt of becoming an Indian princess. It was a fortuitous coincidence that she fell in love with the charismatic Kamal. She was eager to start a new life in India, though both the families were against the union. They have a beautiful daughter called Asha.
Asha is a adorable child but Caroline is homesick and is beginning to hate the remoteness of the India village where she is staying and trying to cope up with motherhood, especially with Kamal being hardly present at home. In the grips of severe depression, Caroline flees back to America, leaving Asha behind. With Caroline gone, Kamal is also unable to form a bond with his only child and he submerges himself further into work.
Ten years later…
Caroline is trying to reconnect with her estranged daughter, but there appears to be a huge gap of communication. Desperate to find Asha, she reunites with Kamal with the intent to track down the whereabouts of their missing child. The only problem is there is no trail to follow for the anxious parents.
I loved the poignancy of the plot mainly because heart-breaking concept of child trafficking and prostitution. When it comes to the setting and the concept, the author was able to bring each and every nuance of the horrifying underworld of India – the darkness, the brutality, the fear and dejection that these ladies and young girls endure for years without any ray of hope. For me, that was the best part about the book. The second thing that I liked about the book would be the title, which somehow echoed the concept loud and clear. But the cover image definitely could have been a bit more substantial.
Almost all characters were something that you can see as a real person, but the characterisation of Caroline felt like an empty shell; I know she went through acute depression and I do emphatise with her, but the post-ten years characterisation felt as empty as her previous depiction. Though the narration style is amiable and smooth, the meandering tone of using multiple narrators does make it a very slow and complicated story to start. But the end definitely makes up for it.
My opinion: I loved the middle and end of the book, especially the parts that were narrated by Asha and Janiki. If you are expecting some high level drama and excitement, you will disappointed. But I would recommend this book if you are agreeable to holding your patience.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5