Author: Cathy Ostlere
Publication Date: March 31, 2011
paperback (arc), 528 pages
ISBN: 1595143386 (ISBN13: 9781595143389)
available @ Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary: On October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi is gunned down by two Sikh bodyguards. The murder sparks riots in Delhi and for three days Sikh families are targeted and killed in retribution for the Prime Minister’s death. It is into this chaos that sixteen-year-old Maya and her Sikh father, Amar, arrive from their home in Canada. India’s political instability is the backdrop and catalyst for Maya’s awakening to the world. KARMA is the story of how a young woman, straddling two cultures and enduring personal loss, learns forgiveness, acceptance and love.
Karma is defined as action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in reincarnation. This is the main theme woven throughout this novel. The main part of this story takes place during the riots that broke out after Indria Gahndi is gunned down in 1984. Maya is the main character in this novel. She writes down the unfolding of these horrific events in her diary. The riots are between the Hindus and Sikh. The turmoil between these two religious groups results in bloodshed and senseless killings. The background controversy in this story is significant because it's also an internal conflict raging inside Maya. Her father is Hindu and her mother is Sikh. Her parents love each other but cannot escape their difference in beliefs. Maya feels torn between them. She doesn't quite fit in anywhere. Maya's character is very interesting. She starts out as an average teenage girl. Maya's world is thrown into turmoil and she must overcome heart wrenching obstacles to find her way. Her journey into India is one of self discovery and forgiveness. Maya has to choose her path or it will be chosen for her. When Maya looses her voice her story is told through the eyes of Sandeep. Sandeep watches over Maya as a favor to his sister. He is intrigued and enthralled by Maya. His sister thinks that Sandeep can be the one person who can lure Maya from her internal prison. In a way Sandeep and Maya's stories are similar. They are both trying to find out where they belong. I liked Sandeep's character a lot. He's is funny and charming. I really enjoyed reading about him.
Overall I thought this story was fantastic. Even though this book is over 500 pages it's very fast paced. It only took me a few days to read it. Cathy Ostlere did a great job with this novel. I experienced a lot of emotions while reading Kharma. It's funny how a few words can say so much sometimes. This novel is written in beautifully constructed verse. It is a must read.
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*Book summary and picture taken from Goodreads
* I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes only. This in to way influenced my opinion.
*I'm an amazon and b&n affiliate.
* I used http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/karma for reference.