Saturday Fare

Book Review

Queen of Dreams

By Chitra B Divakaruni

From the bestselling author of “Mistress of Spices” comes a fascinating tale of mothers and daughters, love and cultural touch, all blended together. In this novel, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni spins a fresh, enchanting story of transformation that is as lyrical as it is dramatic.

Rakhi, a young painter and single (divorced) mother living in Berkeley, California, is struggling to come to terms with her relationship with ex-husband Sonny, a hip Bay Area DJ, and with her dream-teller mother, who has rarely spoken about her past or her native India. In short, she is trying to strike a balance between keeping her family and with the world in an upsetting transition. Rakhi’s hands are full, juggling a creative dry spell, raising her daughter, and trying to save the Berkeley teahouse with her best friend Belle. But greater hurdles are to come.
When a national tragedy changes her world totally upside down and Rakhi needs her mother’s strength and wisdom more than ever, she loses her beloved mother in a car accident.

Her mother was born with the ability to share and interpret the dreams of others, to foresee and guide them through their fates and destiny, which is quite fascinating for Rakhi.

Rakhi enjoys it thoroughly. At the same time, this also isolates her from her mother’s past in India & the dream-world that she inhabits. She, constantly, longs for something to bring them closer.

Caught beneath the burden of her own painful secret, Rakhi’s consolation emerges in the eye-opening discovery, after her mother’s death, of her dream journals, which begin to open the long-closed door to her mother’s long-kept secrets and sacrifices- and ultimately to confront her fears, forge a new relationship with her father, and revisit Sonny’s place in her heart.

As Rakhi attempts to divine her identity, knowing little of India, but drawn inescapably into a sometimes painful history, she is only just discovering, her life is shaken by the new horrors. In the wake of September 11, she and her friends deal with dark & new complexities.

Haunted by the nightmares beyond her imagination. Nevertheless, she finds unexpected blessings: the possibility of new love and understanding for her family. “A dream is a telegram from the hidden world,” Rakhi’s mother writes in her 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.

Publisher: Anchor
Availability: on Amazon Price: Rs 330 (paperback)