5 / 5 Stars
A sweeping, emotional journey of two childhood friends—one struggling to survive the human slave trade and the other on a mission to save her—two girls whose lives converge only to change one fateful night in 1993.
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.
I was really excited when I found out that this was the title Michelle had selected for the April box. I was a bit concerned as it dealt with a lot of serious subjects and I didn’t want a title that was going to make me cry through 85% of it. After reading the first few chapters I knew this story would be moving and make a statement.
Tara is a strong voice who leads the way through the story, while glimpses of Mukta tie it all together. As I read, I absolutely loved the back and forth between the two women and how it would go back and forth in time (to when they were children to present day). I loved that Mukta was a buildup from the day she was taken to where she is now and Tara’s started as a present day and looked back gradually throughout her life and how it brought her back to India in search of her childhood friend.
Both women are such strong voices and show the magnitude of the situation Mukta finds herself in and the lengths Tara goes to find her again.
This book had me in tears by the end but I was more than okay with it. This book moved me and I am so pleased to learn of the impact it makes on others who read it. I’m so glad I was able to experience this title.
This is a title that I would recommend to many people who are interested in learning more about Human Trafficking, but also for people who enjoy books about friendship, love and loss.