This was one book which I couldn't put down. I finished it in one go. It was a good thing it was a holiday so there was no work as such to get through.
An unlikely friendship imposed on Tara by her father bring together two little girls from two very different worlds. Mukta born to a caste which practices Devdasi - marrying a girl to the temple goddess. In other words becoming a prostitute of the temple being forced into this life, despite whatever wishes she may have to be different. Tara's father rescues children and eventually sends them on to various orphanages. What makes Mukta different that she remains in Tara's house despite the antagonism and dislike of Tara's mother who treats her as a menial and a servant.
Family secrets remain hidden till midway in the book when once beginning to unravel you start to understand why this happens and why that doesnt. How a person can pretend/remain in a fugue about events that have happened in your life, close your eyes and pretend that events did not happen and like an ostrich we hope the problem goes away. So many people in this story acted like this and finally Mukta became the victim.
Tara and Mukta's life diverges when Mukta is abducted from the Bombay flat she lives in with Tara's family in Mumbai. Eleven years later, Tara knows that she has to do something. Returning from her life in Los Angeles, Tara tries hard to deal with the bureaucracy of the Mumbai police, the apathy of the detectives who could help her, the mafia and thugs who control the brothel trade and with the help of NGOs and a journalist who is trying to reveal the massive tentacles of the girl trade, they all try to trace Mukta and get her out of the brothel in which she is imprisoned.
Culturally so very descriptive of life in Mumbai, a small village on the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka and Los Angeles, the story brings to life a problem that is still a major issue in India. Emotionally haunting till the very end.
This book was sent to me by Netgalley courtesy of Bloomhill Books.