On October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi is gunned down by two Sikh bodyguards. The murder sparks riots in New Delhi and for three days Sikh men are targeted and killed in retribution for the prime minister’s death.
It is in to this chaos that fifteen-year-old Maya and her Sikh father, Amar arrive from their home in Canada . There to deliver the ashes of her mother to their final resting place, Maya soon finds herself separated from her father and thrown into the chaos that is taking place. Unable to find her father, Maya must disguise her identity and rely on the help of Sandeep–a boy she’s just met–if she is to stay alive and make it home.
Karma explores religious tolerance by showing how a young girl straddling two cultures and enduring personal loss learns forgiveness, acceptance and love – a bold, epic love story set against an extraordinary backdrop and told in masterful strokes of verse.
You can read an excerpt here.
About The Author:
Cathy Ostlere is a graduate of the University of Manitoba . Cathy is the author and playwright of Lost: A Memoir, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Edna Staebler Award for For Creative Non-Fiction and was presented to rave reviews by Theatre Calgary in October 2010. Her creative non-fiction essays have appeared in Event and Prairie Fire literary magazines. She has been a finalist for the National Magazine Awards, Western Magazine Awards, CBC Literary Awards, Prism International Literary Nonfiction Contest, and a winner in the Event Creative Non-Fiction Contest. She lives in Calgary , Alberta . Karma is her first novel for young adults.
When I first discovered that Karma was written in diary form, I have to admit, I was not impressed. It is not my favorite way to read a book. However, that feeling did not last long. This book is stunning and beautiful and breath-taking, all in one! You will learn a lot about the history of India's Holy Wars between the Hindu and Muslim faith's. You will become immediately intrigued with the character of Maya, her father, and her friend, Sandeep. With each page read, you will be drawn into a world you have never known or experienced before. I felt as though I was right there along side Maya on her journey.
Although a large book, of over 500 pages, it is a very fast read. A simply wonderful coming-of-age book that will be a great addition to anyone's summer reading list!
I highly recommend Karma and give it a huge thumbs up.
BUY IT: Karma by Cathy Ostlere is available online from Penguin Group (Canada) - it is also available through your favorite local bookseller from Penguin Books
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Penguin Group Canada, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***