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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of The Mistress of Spices, a sweeping, suspenseful, atmospheric coming-of-age novel about a young woman who leaves India for America on a search that will transform her life.

Beloved by critics and listeners, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has been hailed by Junot Diaz as a “brilliant storyteller” and by People magazine as a "skilled cartographer of the heart". Now, Divakaruni returns with her most gripping novel yet.

Orphaned at birth, 17-year-old Korobi Roy is the scion of a distinguished Kolkata family and has enjoyed a privileged, sheltered childhood with her adoring grandparents. But she is troubled by the silence that surrounds her parents’ death and clings fiercely to her only inheritance from them: the love note she found hidden in her mother's book of poetry. Korobi dreams of one day finding a love as powerful as her parents’, and it seems her wish has come true when she meets the charming Rajat, the only son of a high-profile business family.

But shortly after their engagement, a heart attack kills Korobi’s grandfather, revealing serious financial problems and a devastating secret about Korobi's past. Shattered by this discovery and by her grandparents’ betrayal, Korobi undertakes a courageous search across post-9/11 America to find her true identity. Her dramatic, often startling journey will finally thrust her into the most difficult decision of her life.

©2013 Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (P)2013 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What listeners say about Oleander Girl

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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This encore novel from Indian writer is superb!

I read "Sister of my Heart" and thought that was terrific, but this story of Indian culture was up there with "Shantaram". While the main character embarks on a journey to the US which some may say "yeah boring", it turns out to be pivotal point in the lives and loves of all the richly described characters. I was glued to this one. I look forward to more from Chitra!

7 people found this helpful

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Outstanding performance

This was a well crafted novel. The descriptive narrative was definitely enhanced by Ms Mathan. I will look for more from this author.

3 people found this helpful

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Exciting story

I have always enjoyed Chitra Banerjee's book. Oleander Girl is yet another amazing story! I truly love the story, love how Chitra always incorporates some challenging social concepts into her story's. Highly recommend this book!!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Touching story well told

Divakaruni has grown into such a fine and eloquent writer and I've grown with her. In this book the reader gets into the mind of all characters so deftly and so subtly that there is no black and white in any of these characters and just as humans are, there are shades of grey and we are bound to human folly, but how nicely she conveys her story! Sneha Mathur did a great job of reading the book and the audio book came to life with her various accents and voices.

2 people found this helpful

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A LOVELY FANTASY

This novel wasa lovely escape, fantasticly written and read. It was so refreshing to find the young womam return to Kolkota rather than the typical conclusion of becoming "trapped" by the US self- serving sense of superiority. Great story!

1 person found this helpful

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Great story

What did you love best about Oleander Girl?

I love the way Sneha reads. The story introduced something new to the mix of missing parentage.

Any additional comments?

Great story but the reading skips twice and repeats several times. It was a bit annoying.

1 person found this helpful

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A look into another culture

The most interesting aspect of this novel is the view into modern day Indian culture. The conflict for the characters - tradition or acceptance of more modern social standards, held my attention throughout. I liked the main characters and the presentation of each person's challenges, pain, and positive/negative traits. However, this novel is essentially a "happy ending" story, so the actual tragedies of religious, political, and social clashes are described in a lighter manner than the reality. Overall, it was an enjoyable listen.

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Calcuta

For all those who have ever lived in Calcuta, this book is a must! I have lived there for 4 years and came back to visit my friends after 40 years. The story in the book conveys all the love for the city and bengoli people.

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Sneja Mathan is extraordinary

Wonderful story exquisitely narrated. I enjoyed this book more than anything else I have listened to in at least two years.

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Beautiful

Wonderful story! Lovely use of language, appreciate nuance. Full of compassion and respect for cultures. Great voice in narration!!