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I wanted so to love this, as One Amazing Thing is one of my 5 star reads of the past However this one did not touch me in quiet the same way I am thinking that it was not the story, but rather the main characters whom I did not connect with That said, Divakaruni writes beautifully I was able to get a sense of the culture, the tradition and the pride and sense of family of these characters I actually enjoyed the secondary characters better than the main couple of this story Especially Korobi s grandmother and Rajat s father I work with a woman who is Indian, and hearing her stories and talk of family, tradition and how modern her Americanized children are made this story ring true The modern world does intrude on family and the past generations Korobi struggled with this and tried to stay true to all that she had been taught while becoming her own person in a much different world Sometimes it is hard to move forward, but sometimes that is all we can do An enjoyable read, and I will read others by this very talented and thoughtful author. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni returns to her home turf Kolkata with this book and she creates the city, characters and story beautifully in her book Oleander girl has mystery, romance, family, history, heritage, emotions, business, politics and scandal but what it has the most is the magic of Chitra Banerjee The feelings reach a different level when she explains the love, the fights, the misunderstandings, and the understandings between two lovers Love becomes eternal, beautiful and growing in her books Its not restrictive and painful its acceptance and understanding She shows us love of all different generations with Mr Mrs Roy, Mr Mrs Bose and finally Rajat and Karobi But the most beautiful thing about her books is that you will see a glimpse of your life in all the characters The game of love, trust, distance and family between Rajat and Karobi, is not so distant as it reminds the early stage of my own relationship The loving grandmother of Karobi reminded me of the bond I had with my grandmother The love of Pia for her poor Muslim driver reminded me of the loving family driver who worked for us, amused us and took care of us when we were kids Each nuance of the book is so beautifully woven like weaving crochet with silken thread That s why I love Chitra s books They are a part of our soul To readbook reviews and about books, visit my blog Storywala Sister of my Heart was a wonderful book and the reason I sought outby this author.Oleander Girl was an OK read but nothing like Sister.I grew interested in young, headstrong, and naive Korobi and her story, although melodramatic at times Pia was a little sweetheart As for the other characters, I think I would have likedconcise character development Just when I thought I knew one of them, they would start to act suspiciously or in a confusing manner Emotions ran hot and cold It may have been the fact that the book takes place in a time when people are breaking with their age old customs and changing with the times, like it or not Even so the story itself held enough intrigue to keep me reading to its satisfying conclusion I had this book since 2013 and finally picked it up to use towards a challenge A very good read, alternately set between Kolkata India and New York and Northern California Many facets to this novel loss, love, will, a search for one s heritage, forgiveness, betrayal and there was a great deal I learned about the Indian culture I became a fan of the author ever since I read her book of short stories, Arranged Marriage Stories, and was her author escort at the LA Times Festival of Books A very satisfying read Brief review sorry This is one of those books that is best served where the surprises are as unspoiled as possible.I absolutely loved this book I haven t read many of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni s books this is my second of hers but I want to find her entire backlist.I think what struck me most about this book is how easy it is to take for granted the idea of knowing where you come from Korobi thought she did, even though her parents are dead And once she learned that her entire life was essentially a lie, she made the decision to find the truth.This is an amazing book and I hope everyone reads it.Highly recommended. Oleander Girl started off slow, but it improved I didn t entirely buy into Korobi and Rajat s romance to begin with It seemed very Tess of the d Urbervilles ish, with Rajat especially loving Korobi in part because of the environment and heritage from which he thought she came We saw in Hardy that this doesn t work out well, but Divakaruni s novel is not Hardy s, so things turn out a bit differently in this case At other times, the story seemed very cliche Girl goes off right before marriage in a version of the quest to find herself, has some hitches in her relationship that still need to be worked out but then who doesn t , and on her journey meets an attractive guy of similar age with whom she has some chemistry It seems like one can see everything coming, but Divakaruni s book is, again, her own, and so I ll go ahead and tell you that the ending is not quite so cliche as expected.Despite a rather slow beginning, the progress of the novel soon became gripping as secrets were revealed and important details of both the past and the present emerged If I was going to have to leave off reading soon, I found myself compelled to skip ahead and see what happened It helped that the novel alternated viewpoints between Korobi, her family, her in laws, and others, making this not only Korobi s story, but also that of several other major characters This added a great deal of depth to the novel, as it allowed for the exploration of other prominent figures as well as an exploration of multiple features of modern Indian society Disclaimer I received my copy of this book through the First Look program in exchange for an honest review. .Free Book ♽ Oleander Girl ♂ From The Bestselling Author Of One Amazing Thing, A Sweeping, Suspenseful, Atmospheric Coming Of Age Novel About A Young Woman Who Leaves India For America On A Search That Will Transform Her LifeBeloved By Critics And Readers, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Has Been Hailed By Junot D Az As A Brilliant Storyteller And By People Magazine As A Skilled Cartographer Of The Heart Now, Divakaruni Returns With Her Most Gripping Novel YetOrphaned At Birth, Seventeen Year Old Korobi Roy Is The Scion Of A Distinguished Kolkata Family And Has Enjoyed A Privileged, Sheltered Childhood With Her Adoring Grandparents But She Is Troubled By The Silence That Surrounds Her Parents Death And Clings Fiercely To Her Only Inheritance From Them The Love Note She Found Hidden In Her Mother S Book Of Poetry Korobi Dreams Of One Day Finding A Love As Powerful As Her Parents , And It Seems Her Wish Has Come True When She Meets The Charming Rajat, The Only Son Of A High Profile Business FamilyBut Shortly After Their Engagement, A Heart Attack Kills Korobi S Grandfather, Revealing Serious Financial Problems And A Devastating Secret About Korobi S Past Shattered By This Discovery And By Her Grandparents Betrayal, Korobi Undertakes A Courageous Search Across Post America To Find Her True Identity Her Dramatic, Often Startling Journey Will, Ultimately, Thrust Her Into The Most Difficult Decision Of Her Life I liked this book, but I didn t LOVE it like I do so many of this author s other books The story starts out in a great way as we are introduced to Korobi, named after the Oleander flower which is both beautiful and poisonous and learn of her life in fairly modern day Kolkata where she is being raised by her grandparents since the death of her mother after childbirth There is a mystery surrounding her birth and there seems to be a promising story ready to unfold on the horizon But the story doesn t quite live up to that promise It s a story I ve heard many time before and one that is often overused by many South Asian story tellers I saw the twists and turns coming from a mile away And though the author does a great job of showing the different aspects of life in modern day Kolkata and in a post 9 11 America, some characters fall flat and only seem to be introduced to cause conflict or resolve it At times I felt I was reading the script to a Soap Opera or a Bollywood movie Still, I would recommend this book for a quick fun read. Lovely book, oops almost sounds like nice but it sthan lovely, it s gently but firmly compelling and it s fascinating to see the old ways of India and modernism fuse within its lead character I read a lot of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and with Oleander Girl, I sat down early evening, and didn t get up until I finished it Oh my. Beautiful story If you have read any of Divakaruni s books, run, don t walk to get this one I tried so hard to pace myself but finished it in three days The story inspires strength, exploration, family closeness, and is another peak into cultures and lives of Indian families Loved it.