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Publisher's Summary

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 10-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.

©2017 Amita Trasi (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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loved it!

I really enjoyed how the narrators has the perfect accents and cadences to make the narration feel authentic and true to the culture the author so artfully portrays.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fast moving ,gripping ,emotional ,well depicted.

It was a great read I was so touched by the story and the life of both the girls Tara and Mukta was heart ranching I got so involved in the book I felt I was a part of it. I had to finish listening to it and finished it in a day. The book says a lot about the life of a devadasi
in India its awful that girls like Mukta who are so young have to go through life in such misery and pain.I hope the world will change for girls like Mukta and they get educated and this tradition of devdasi is abolished forever.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Moving story of 2 girls whose lives are intertwined.

I was touched by the hope and innocence of a girl who lives through nightly horror and abuse. She holds out hope for her 1 true friend, Tara. I listened to it twice! Highly recommend !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A very important book

A sad but compelling read...a story that needs to be told about the modern slave trade where young girls are sold into prositution in slums across India.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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beautiful... kindness

touched my heart. love this book... kindness, love of others, and helping others without complaint.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Poorly written

Given the favorable reviews for this book, I had high expectations. So I was surprised at how amateurish the writing struck me as being. Awkward, robotic dialogue, a telltale over reliance on coincidence to drive the plot, implausible behavior... If I am going to wade through a story driven by so much trauma, the writing had better be so exquisite that it somehow justifies the pain. In this instance, it read more like torture porn in places. I wish I could on read this one.