Thursday, July 7, 2011

Karma by Cathy Ostlere

Called Maya by her mother and Jiva by her father, Maya is half Hindu and half Sikh.  To get away from their Indian families who frowned upon their marriage Maya's parents emigrated to Canada which is where she is raised.  However, after the death of her mother, Maya and her father travel to India to return the ashes from whence they came.  When riots break out Maya is separated from her father and winds up far away in a desert village.  After witnessing violence and horrors Maya becomes mute and her story continues through Sandeep, a village boy who also has a story to tell.

Written in free verse poems first as Maya's diary and then as Sandeep's, this 500+ page books flies by.  The story is engrossing in both Maya's words and Sandeep's.  Cathy Ostlere writing is simply gorgeous and Maya's story is both heartbreaking and endearing.  It is hard not cheer for the growing relationship between Sandeep and Maya and to not cry for their losses.  Truthfully I would have been happy with a few more pages set sometime in the future tying loose ends together (trying not to spoil anything here) but will settle for my imagination or another book someday. Recommended for fans of historical fiction, romance, journals and free verse.

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