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Sam Guernsey Review 6

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Sam Guernsey For this Goodreads review I read the book “Karma” by Cathy Ostlere. This is an Indian novel based in 1984 about a young girl named Jiva traveling to India with her father, Bapu, because of her mother, Leela’s, recent suicide. Bapu and Leela married against their families wishes in India, so Bapu’s parents forced him to force Leela to convert to become a Sikh, while Leela’s parents disowned her. Bapu and Leela fled to Canada to avoid their messy family situation, because of this Leela became more and more depressed everyday, leading to her eventual suicide. Jiva and her father arrived in India in the midst of political turmoil, in fact they arrive just before the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, is assassinated. After this, Hindus were rampaging through the streets murdering Sikhs, it was a full blown genocide. Jiva and Bapu are separated after he leaves her at a hotel to find a way out of the city, so Jiva runs away when she encounters an awful event. She becomes mute and is taken into a family where she begins to fall in love with the adopted son, Sandeep. This novel switches between three narratives, Jiva, Karma, and Sandeep. As well as following the love story of Sandeep and Jiva, this novel focuses on the massacre of Sikhs at this time, which not many people may know about even if they did hear about the murder or Indira Gandhi. I would say Sandeep is my favorite character because of the humor and light he brings to such a dark and serious time period in India’s history.


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