Sudha is startlingly beautiful; Anju is not. Despite these differences, since the day the two girls were born—the same day their fathers died, mysteriously and violently—Sudha and Anju have been sisters of the heart.
Bonded in ways even their mothers cannot comprehend, the two girls grow into womanhood as if their fates, as well as their hearts, are merged. When Sudha learns a dark family secret, that connection is threatened.
When, due to a change in family fortune, the girls are urged into arranged marriages, their lives take opposite turns. One travels to America, and one remains in India.
When tragedy strikes both of them, however, they discover that, despite distance and marriage, they must turn to each other once again. Sister of My Heart is less reliant on enchantment but no less enchanting as it tells the tale of two cousins born on the same day, their premature births brought on by a mysterious occurrence that claims the lives of both their fathers.
Sudha is beautiful, Anju is not; yet the girls love each other as sisters, the bond between them so strong it seems nothing can break it. When both are pushed into arranged marriages, however, each discovers a devastating secret that changes their relationship forever. Sister of My Heart spans many years and zigzags between India and America as the cousins first grow apart and then eventually reunite.
Sister of My Heart is a novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. First published in , this novel was followed in by a sequel The Vine of Desire. The story. Sister of My Heart has ratings and reviews. Nadiah said: Reading this novel is like letting your heart be the passenger of the wildest rolle.
Divakaruni invests this domestic drama with poetry as she traces her heroines' lives from infancy to motherhood, but it is Sudha and Anju who give the story its backbone. Anju might speak for both when she says, "In spite of all my insecurities, in spite of the oceans that'll be between us soon and the men that are between us already, I can never stop loving Sudha. It's my habit, and it's my fate. It is also an intricate modern drama in which generations and castes struggle over old and new mores.
Anju and Sudha grow up in a household run by their three mothers: Pishi, Gouri, and Nalini. Even though Anju and Sudha call each other sisters, they are technically cousins. Anju is their daughter. The family relationships may seem complicated, but they play an important role in the novel.
Anju and Sudha are inseparable, but different. Beautiful and calm, Sudha is a storyteller and dreams of designing clothes and having a family. Anju has a fierce spirit and longs to study Literature in college. The girls get caught skipping school and this event, along with a health scare in the family, suddenly changes plans for college to plans of marriage.
Book one ends with Anju and Sudha getting married on the same day. Sudha will move in with her husband and in-laws who live in another part of India.
More than marriage has driven Anju and Sudha apart. Shame and guilt over keeping this secret causes Sudha to pull away from Anju. Anju does not blame Sudha, but it is with some relief the two young women begin to live separate lives.
In The Queen of Swords Sudha quickly learns the ways of her demanding and controlling mother-in-law. After five long years, Sudha is elated to learn she is pregnant. Anju and Sudha exchange regular letters and short phone calls, but their old intimacy is missing. The friends discover they are pregnant at the same time and both seem finally happy. She demands Sudha abort the baby, believing the first child should be a son.
Sudha has nowhere to turn, leaving her husband would be grounds to talk to each other again as true sisters. Refusing to tie her life to another man and realizing Anju needs her, Sudha and her daughter decide to go to the United States.