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Sister of My Heart

A Novel
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

From the award-winning author of Mistress of Spices, the best-selling novel about the extraordinary bond between two women, and the family secrets and romantic jealousies that threaten to tear them apart.

Anju is the daughter of an upper-caste Calcutta family of distinction. Her cousin Sudha is the daughter of the black sheep of that same family. Sudha is startlingly beautiful; Anju is not. Despite those differences, since the day on which the two girls were born, the same day their fathers died - mysteriously and violently - Sudha and Anju have been sisters of the heart. Bonded in ways even their mothers cannot comprehend, the two girls grow into womanhood as if their fates as well as their hearts were merged.

But when Sudha learns a dark family secret, that connection is shattered. For the first time in their lives, the girls know what it is to feel suspicion and distrust. Urged into arranged marriages, Sudha and Anju's lives take opposite turns. Sudha becomes the dutiful daughter-in-law of a rigid small-town household. Anju goes to America with her new husband and learns to live her own life of secrets. When tragedy strikes each of them, however, they discover that despite distance and marriage, they have only each other to turn to.

Set in the two worlds of San Francisco and India, this exceptionally moving novel tells a story at once familiar and exotic, seducing listeners from the first minute with the lush prose we have come to expect from Divakaruni. Sister of My Heart is a novel destined to become as widely beloved as it is acclaimed.

©1999 Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (P)2012 Tantor

Critic reviews

"An inspired and imaginative raconteur, Divakaruni is sure to engender comparisons with Arundhati Roy ( The God of Small Things), but Divakaruni's novel stands in its own right as a compelling read." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Friends and Sisters

I loved this book, it shows love on so many levels. Love between a man and a woman, and love between two women that are friends for life. A feelgood book...a real nice read

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • R.Reader
  • 08-08-12

I enjoyed reading this book much more

I read this book many years ago - it actually still sits on my bedside table. The story of Sudha and Anju is one of love, secrets, heartbreak and ultimately family. The story and characters of the girls will stay with you, even after you have finished reading it. I have always enjoyed Divakaruni's style of writing. The words are beautiful, the scenes she sets are beautiful even many of the characters she writes are beautiful, even when they are ugly. There is a follow up book to this one called The Vine of Desire. If you enjoyed this book, you might want to pick up that book - Anju and Sudha are adults now, but there's still never a dull moment - especially when one's husband is attracted to the other.
Now for why I couldn't give this audio book full stars:
Lisette Lecat has spoiled me for listening to stories about characters from other countries. Her delivery of the accents are flawless and honest. Julia Whelan reads well, but she sounds just like me, and this accent is NOT for this book. I wish someone would have considered it. I mean, Im sure they considered it - what would people who buy this book want to hear - what would they spend their money on? This may be the voice that many people would appreciate, but this is not the voice I wanted to hear - not for this book.
Why not Sarita Choudhury? Why not Frieda Pinto? Why not Sarita and Frieda together?
The performance really made this book difficult for me to listen to. Nothing genuine - not even pretend.
Disappointing about to me. I loved reading this book, I just really hated hearing it.
I understand, that these feelings are mine alone. I still recommend this book - the story is good, and Divakaruni is a brilliant writer.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Gaile Roberts Nunez
  • 02-07-17

A Story Betrayed in the Telling

The nararator insulted the author, embarrassed hetself, disrespected the reader. I ground my teeth with the horrible, continual mispronunciations of EVERY Indian language name, word, and phrase. I was constantly tense so that the great writing was difficult to attend to as in other books by this author. Disappointment! Get a native reader NOWand re-record tgis classic.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • AM
  • 02-02-17

Loved the plot and story

Though the narrator had a wonderful voice, her pronunciation of the hindi words and especially how she pronounced Sudha, was too jarring and it somewhat diminished the pleasure of listening to an otherwise great book.

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  • Susi Paulina
  • 21-11-16

Nice story. Unique twists

Wonderful writing. This tale was of family and the protagonist daughters who struggle as widows in Calcutta. This story contains beautiful words of love between sisters. In a spectacular surprise ending, this novel had me shout out loud!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kay
  • 19-02-16

Irresistible

This story is beautiful. A very powerful novel about women, life, and love. I would recommend this book to the hopeless romantic and the realist alike. It is portrayed from two different points of view so the reader really gets to be encaptured by the story. The narrator's voice is also very fitting and soothing.

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  • elainemp
  • 09-06-14

SISTER OF MY HEART - WONDERFUL BOOK

If you could sum up Sister of My Heart in three words, what would they be?

Exceptionally moving and a passionate novel about the bond between two women, and the jealousies, loves, and family histories that threaten to tear them apart. I could not stop listening.

Have you listened to any of Julia Whelan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I love all the books that Julia Whelan narrates. That is how i found Sister of my heart.