Review | Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni 

#QOTD – Have you ever broken up with your best friend?

I have, and trust me, it is not pleasant. My best friend and I had conversations about random topics which would go up to 2 in the morning. We were both art enthusiasts and culture appreciators. We would talk endlessly about our infatuation with fictional characters. We would wake up early in the morning just to explore the city in the dawn! She was the sister of my heart, and I was her other half. But then, we fell in love with the same guy, and the guy fell in love with one of us! Awkward conversations and uncomfortable silences followed whenever we met. All of this happened not when we were in our teens, but when we were full grown mature adults. So we knew this had to end. We had to break up.

Breaking up with a best friend can feel worse than splitting up with your partner. And while everyone acknowledges the trauma of romantic breakups, people don’t really talk about the fallout with friends. A breakup is a breakup. There was intimacy and trust, and then there wasn’t. And it takes time to deal with the devastation of losing someone you always thought you’d have by your side.

Sister Of My Heart is a book predominantly on female relationships. Anju and Sudha belong to a house which is run by only women. Where Anju is practical, challenges tradition, enjoys reading, and hopes to travel, Sudha is beautiful, romantic, and conventional and likes clothes and storytelling. They are inseparable in the beginning of the plot, but eventually complications arise between them, and they grow apart. Both Sudha and Anju are dipped in shades of grey. They make mistakes, they learn, they apologize, they show kindness, they exhibit selflessness, they get jealous — they break up, and they get back together.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni rejects conventional myths and creates new ones. The first part of the book is titled as, “The Princess in the Palace of Snakes” symbolising the traditional fairytale of the princess in the palace of snakes waiting for her Prince Charming to rescue her. The second part is, “The Queen of Swords”, where women rescue other women and do not wait helplessly to be saved.

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