I received a free copy of The Color of Our Sky from TLC Book Tours for my honest review.
About the Book:
• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 18, 2017)
In the spirit of Khaled Hosseini, Nadia Hashimi and Shilpi Somaya Gowda comes this powerful debut from a talented new voice—a sweeping, emotional journey of two childhood friends in Mumbai, India, whose lives converge only to change forever one fateful night.
India, 1986: Mukta, a ten-year-old village girl from the lower caste Yellama cult has come of age and must fulfill her destiny of becoming a temple prostitute, as her mother and grandmother did before her. In an attempt to escape her fate, Mukta is sent to be a house girl for an upper-middle class family in Mumbai. There she discovers a friend in the daughter of the family, high spirited eight-year-old Tara, who helps her recover from the wounds of her past. Tara introduces Mukta to an entirely different world—one of ice cream, reading, and a friendship that soon becomes a sisterhood.
But one night in 1993, Mukta is kidnapped from Tara’s family home and disappears. Shortly thereafter, Tara and her father move to America. A new life in Los Angeles awaits them but Tara never recovers from the loss of her best friend, or stops wondering if she was somehow responsible for Mukta’s abduction.
Eleven years later, Tara, now an adult, returns to India determined to find Mukta. As her search takes her into the brutal underground world of human trafficking, Tara begins to uncover long-buried secrets in her own family that might explain what happened to Mukta—and why she came to live with Tara’s family in the first place.
Moving from a traditional Indian village to the bustling modern metropolis of Mumbai, to Los Angeles and back again, this is a heartbreaking and beautiful portrait of an unlikely friendship—a story of love, betrayal, and, ultimately, redemption.
About the Author:
Amita Trasi was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She has an MBA in human resource management, and currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two cats.
This is a book that covers a topic that is not easy to navigate – sex trafficking. Actually it deals with two difficult topics as it also delves into the caste system in India but not as deeply as it does with prostitution. There are moments of joy, lightness and happiness but this is a book that will stay with you. The images brought to mind while reading are not easy to forget.
Tara is a young girl in a happy household; her father is a progressive thinker who works with NGOs to help children of lower castes. Usually he brings them home for just a couple of days and then they go on to be placed. But one day he brings home a young girl named Mukta and she stays with the family. Mukta is the child of a small town prostitute, part of a generational system of women “dedicated to the goddess” but who are really just kept for the upper caste men. Mukta’s mother wants her to avoid her fate but her grandmother is a mercenary woman and sells her at 8 years old into the system.
Tara’s father is from the same village and on a trip home his mother encourages him to take her and find her a new home for no child deserves such a fate. He brings her home but his wife is not happy. Tara ultimately befriends her and they form a bond that holds firm until one night it breaks.
Mukta is kidnapped from the house one night and Tara is to scared to react. After trying to find her without luck Tara and her father move to the US. After Tara’s father dies she returns to India to try and find Mukta. Tara feels compelled to search for her childhood friend for many reasons and she won’t stop until she finds her.
The book is told in both girls’ voices and moves somewhat confusingly in time. Tara is, for the most part, a very unlikable character. She is at times an unpleasant child and to put it bluntly a pushy and stupid adult. Mukta has the far more compelling story and despite her very hard life she is easier to like. It is awful to read what her life was like but it’s important to bring awareness to these situations. For that alone this book should be read. It’s not a perfect book by any means but it is one that keeps a reader’s interest and has several big twists that caught me by surprise.
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