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Queen of Dreams
Synopses & Reviews
In Queen of Dreams, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni once more spins a fresh, spellbinding story of transformation. Rakhi, a young artist and divorced mother living in Berkeley, California, is struggling to keep her footing, with her family and her world in alarming transition. Her mother is a dream-teller, born with the ability to share and interpret the dreams of others, to foresee and guide them through their fates. This gift of vision fascinates Rakhi, but also isolates her from her mother’s past in India and the dream world she inhabits, and she longs for something to bring them closer. Caught beneath the burden of her own painful secret, Rakhi’s solace comes in the discovery, after her mother's death, of her dream journals, which begin to open the long-closed door to her past.
As Rakhi attempts to divine her identity, knowing little of India but drawn inexorably into a sometimes painful history she is only just discovering, her life is shaken by new horrors. In the wake of 9/11, Rakhi and her Indian friends suffer a brutal attack in which they are called “terrorists,” unveiling dark new complexities about their acculturation.
“A dream is a telegram from the hidden world,” Rakhi's mother writes in her dream journals. In lush and elegant prose, Divakaruni has crafted a vivid and enduring dream, one that reveals hidden truths about the world we live in, and from which readers will be reluctant to wake.
"Spiked with elements of mystery, suspense and the supernatural, Divakaruni's sixth novel is a pleasantly atypical tale of self-discovery. Rakhi, a single mother and struggling artist living in Berkeley, Calif., has always been vaguely aware of her own mother's unusual gift — the ability to interpret dreams. Between juggling a laundry list of other priorities — keeping her floundering tea shop afloat after a Starbucks-esque supercafe moves in across the street, battling her ex-husband for their daughter's affections, finding her artistic voice — Rakhi longs to know more about her mother's past and her own hazy Indian heritage. After a mysterious car accident claims her mother's life, Rakhi, with her father's help, sets out to decipher Mrs. Gupta's dream journals in hopes of unlocking the secrets of her peculiar double life. A shadowy man in white who appears at pivotal moments, a sinister rival and entries from Mrs. Gupta's dream journals all punctuate this cleverly imagined tale of love, forgiveness and new beginnings. Meanwhile, September 11 disrupts Rakhi's search for identity, and a vicious attack on her friends and family calls their notions of citizenship into question. Divakaruni (The Mistress of Spices; Sister of My Heart; etc.) does a good job working current issues into the novel and avoids synthetic characterization, creating a free-flowing story that will captivate readers. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (Sept. 14)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Richly textured and artfully told through the varied perspectives of believable characters." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] riveting story, eloquently written. Divakaruni's attention to detail in descriptive passages is beautifully telling without being at all overblown." Boston Globe
In lush and elegant prose, Divakaruni has crafted a vivid and enduring dream — the story of Rakhi, a young artist, who finds solace in a dream journal written by her recently deceased mother.
About the Author
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the author of the bestselling novels The Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart, and The Vine of Desire; the prize-winning story collections Arranged Marriage and The Unknown Errors of Our Lives; and four acclaimed volumes of poetry. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Ms., Zoetrope, Good Housekeeping, O: The Oprah Magazine, The Best American Short Stories, The O’Henry Prize Stories and The New York Times. She teaches creative writing at the University of Houston and divides her time between Houston and the San Francisco area. Her Web site is www.chitradivakaruni.com.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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