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Oleander Girl

Oleander Girl

A Novel

  • reading group guide
  • customer reviews
  • freshman reading
Beloved bestselling author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has been hailed by Abraham Verghese as a “gifted storyteller” and by People magazine as a “skilled cartographer of the heart.” Now, Divakaruni returns with her most gripping novel yet, a sweeping, suspenseful coming-of-age tale about a young woman who leaves India for America on a search that will transform her life.

THOUGH SHE WAS ORPHANED AT BIRTH, the wild and headstrong Korobi Roy has enjoyed a privileged childhood with her adoring grandparents, spending her first seventeen years sheltered in a beautiful, crumbling old mansion in Kolkata. But despite all that her grandparents have done for her, she is troubled by the silence that surrounds the circumstances of her parents’ death and clings fiercely to her only inheritance from them: the love note she found, years ago, hidden in a book of poetry that had belonged to her mother. As she grows, Korobi dreams of one day finding a love as powerful as her parents’, and it seems her wish has finally come true when she meets the charming Rajat, the only son of a high-profile business family.

Shortly after their engagement, however, a sudden 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 decides to undertake a courageous search across post-9/11 America to find her true identity. Her dramatic, often startling journey will ultimately thrust her into the most difficult decision of her life.

With flawless narrative instinct and a boundless sympathy for her irrepressible characters, in Oleander Girl Divakaruni brings us a perfect treat of a novel— moving, wise, and unforgettable. As The Wall Street Journal raves, “Divakaruni emphasizes the cathartic force of storytelling with sumptuous prose. . . . She defies categorization.”
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451695687 | 
  • March 2014
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Oleander Girl by Chitra Divakaruni

From the bestselling author of One Amazing Thing, 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.

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Oleander Girl ONE




I’m swimming through a long, underwater cavern flecked with blue light, the cavern of love, with Rajat close behind me. We’re in a race, and so far I’m winning because this is my dream. Sometimes when I’m dreaming, I don’t know it, but tonight I do. Sometimes when I’m awake, I wonder if I’m dreaming. That, however, is... see more

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Oleander Girl includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

As the only child of an old and distinguished Hindu household in Kolkata, Korobi Roy grew up with the best of everything—except parents. All she knows about them is that her father died a few months before her birth, and her mother died when she was born. Korobi has lived her entire life with her grandparents: her beloved, cantankerous grandfather who made sure she received a top-notch boarding school education and upbringing, and her grandmother who encircled her in the comfort of family traditions. But despite her happy childhood, Korobi yearns to know more about her parents, and cherishes an unfinished love note from her mother to her father that she discovered as a child, tucked away in a book of poetry. At seventeen, Korobi has found her match in the handsome and charming Rajat, the only son of one of the city’s high-profile business families. On the night of their engagement party, Korobi’s grandfather dies of a sudden heart attack. His death reveals the family’s unexpected financial see more

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