I enjoy learning about countries and cultures through fiction. I am interested in finding out more about the author, Ostlere. Is she from Indian background and what kind of research did she complete to write this novel? Set in 1984 when India's prime minister is killed and religious genocides occur.
Maya, fifteen years old, is growing up in Canada where her parents immigrated to from India. Her father is Sikh and her mother is Hindu--completely...more
I picked up this book be...more
The year is 1984. Fifteen year old Maya packs a suitcase for a trip to India with her father. They are going to lay Maya's recently deceased Hindu mother to rest. Not long after they arrive, however, tumultuous religious differences between the Sikhs and Hindus explode into violence when prime minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated.
Maya and her father, a Sikh, are caught in the middle of the clash and separated when their hotel is attacked. Afraid for her safety because o...more
It was an interesting story that spans six weeks. When Maya's mother commits suicide, she and her dad take the ashes to India (they live in Canada). They get separated during the riots. The first part of the story is voiced by Maya, the next part is voiced by Sandeep and the la...more
And it could have been....but it wasn't.
What saves this book is everything contained within the covers - the writing, the story, the characters, and the alternating POVs.
Cathy Ostlere penned such a compelling, magical novel. The words flowed flawlessly, jumping off the pages. It was lyrical and poetic. The book is written in Verse and in diary form. So it made it very easy to connect with the main character Maya. Wh...more
I mean, seriously, the only reasons I was able to finish this book was:
1. I really, really want to beat Robin the Page War and this is one of the longest books on the BFYA list.
2. I was told that this book was absolutely horrible and not worth the boatload of pages I'd gain to get closer to beating Robin in the Page War and so had the lowest expectations for this book. Which is actually kind of a good thing because when you have...more
"For the last two minutes, the sonata beats out my breaths. The music despairs. The building madness--t...more
Cathy Ostlere brings to life a moving and rich post World War II novel about a girl named Jiva who must struggle to find her father in the religiously divided country of India. Throughout the book, elements of romance, historical fiction, and a coming-of-age story are all woven into this novel that tells its tale through angelic and detailed prose.
Jiva, who's name means 'life', has always been different, even in her home country of India, where her ancestors a...more
I thought it was great! I was impressed that the novel appears to be written by a non-Indian, who really seems to understand the state of mind of Sikhs and Hindus in India in the mid 1980s. It is written from t...more
Depending on which cover you've got, this book is much more dramatic, serious, and heavy than you'd expect. This is not a light "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" story. This is a story of tragedy, fear, loss...but also strength,...more
Karma is the story of Maya, a half-Hindu half-Sikh teenager, who is traveling to India with her father to spread the ashes of her recently deceased mother. The first night Maya and her father, whom she calls Bapu, arrive, the Prime Minister Indira Gandh...more
Putdownability Factor: I tore through this book. And not just because it was an in-verse novel either! Its just plain addicting.
Cover Love: I normally don't like pink, but I think this cover is gorgeous. It perfectly captures the essence of the book.
Why did I pick this up? I was emailed by the author Cathy Ostlere and she was kind enough to send me a copy of the book to review! Also, I'm always a...more
I had to read this book for white pine and at first found it to be very interesting. It follows a hindu/seik girl named Maya whose father brings her to india to say goodbye to her mother's ashes. During their stay, all hell breaks lose in India and Maya is separated from her dad and fostered by a family who is very strict and...more
Maya, the daughter of a Hindu mother and Sikh father, lives in small town Canada, where her family suffers from isolation and casual xenophobia. After her mother commits...more
The book has many pages, but they go quickly because of all the white spaces. The story is a compelling page-turner, but the language makes you want to slow down and pay attention to it, so there's...more