Monday, September 22, 2008

The Palace of Illusions &The Kitchen God's Wife

Palace of Illusions
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a favorite author whose books I know I will enjoy. So I couldn't wait till this her latest was available in the Library. Surprisingly her writing style was quite different in this book. I know because I have read almost all of her books. Check here for a list of her books and more info on the author. I am a fan of her lyrical style perfected in 'Queen of Dreams', Mistress of Spices' etc. and so missed it in this book. It is still a fascinating book to me because of two things. One, this is a concise book on the various stories of Mahabharata told in an easy to follow narrative; two, it is told from the unique point of view of Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas. So do read this or even buy one as I am planning to do if you were one of those kids who thoroughly enjoyed the mythical stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana but had only read stories from it in bits and pieces. This page and this has more on the story. The palace in question is the magical palace that Maya built for the Pandavas/Draupadi for that relatively peaceful period when they were ruling their half of the Kuru Kingdom.

The Kitchen God's Wife
While Divakaruni's books are a must read because of the additional pleasure I get being from India, Amy Tan's books are depended on when I am in need of an easy read with no hassles and am in no mood to start searching for one. I have read quite a a few of the author's books and know for sure that eventually I will finish all. But why hurry a sure thing? This book, like other Tan books portrays mother-daughter relationship in all its intensity. I do get her books mixed up in that I can't separate the characters from one book to the other. It does not interfere in the reading pleasure at all as each storyline is distinct and will remain a 'rainy day' source for me if I don't finish them all up too soon:-) Check here and here for a synopsys of the book and here for more on the author.