Kirchner was a computer engineer for many years, prior to becoming a writer. The second half of the book grew on me as I, as the reader, observed a transformation in both women who must rise above the patriarchical and misogynistic culture they have been raised in. Aloka was raised as the "good Hindu wife.
Sujata also undergoes a tremendous transformation and gains great self worth through great adversity and self discovery through life's hardships. Two sisters, now living in North America, are still bitter about their relationships with the same man.
Although, the storyline was predictable, the story was worth reading. First of all, I have to say that I love books about India and Indian culture. So I had high hopes for Darjeeling.
Darjeeling: A Novel - Bharti Kirchner
I have to say though, it was a disappointing experience. The dialogue in the book was completely unconvincing. It bounced back and forth without any feel of a real conversation. Either the vocabulary came off sounding haughty or the sentiments came out sounding forced. And on top of that, it was supposed to be this sweeping family saga that spanned 10 years and involved betrayal, a family dynasty, and the westernization of two young women.
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Yet everything that these two sisters had gone through miraculously got resolved in one afternoon while baking together. It was just so unrealistic, over-simplified and totally dissatisfying. If you're looking for an easy, formulaic read, then this might be the book for you.
Otherwise, I don't recommend it at all. Try one of the other books that I mentioned earlier in my review! Fast paced, good descriptions of scenery, tea business, manhattan immigrant life and food, food..
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I like Kirschner's writing more for food descriptions than anything else and this is no exception. In general the storyline is more like a hindi movie - two women for one man and a benevolent 'thakur ma' and an angry dad and so on. But credit should be given to the author for portraying women - particularly immigrant women's dilemmas with clarity and respect.
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The ending also speaks for the same thing, both women doing what they believe in and letting the men know and get what they deserve! Great quality for a used book. Both sisters in this book are very intelligent. They share the same culture as women of India, but they are from different worlds. One sister is adventurous living in Canada, and the other sister is very accomplished living in New York One person found this helpful.
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Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Set up a giveaway. However, Kirchner, a novelist Shiva Dancing and cookbook author, reveals a tremendous faith in her characters and their love of their homeland—especially its food—and if her portrayal of the clash between traditional and modern ways seems formulaic and sketchily handled, she does infuse her work with a genuine Indian spirit.
View Full Version of PW. More By and About This Author. Discover what to read next. Although filled with the rich foods, smells, and social confines of another culture, Darjeeling is really about the universally human emotions of jealousy, rivalry, love, and honor. It is a complex novel about family, exile, sisterly relations, and how one incident can haunt us for the rest of our lives.
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