Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Sisters of the Sari" by Brenda L. Baker

Sisters of the Sari
by Brenda L. Baker
327 pages

Short Version: Kiria decides to open a women's home in India after meeting Santoshi, a woman who has lived most of her life in run down shelters.

Why I Read It: The cover of this book caught my attention in the bookstore, but it has been sitting on my shelf ever since. I decided to pick it up since I am a week away from going to India.

The Book: From Goodreads
While vacationing in India, Kiria Langdon, the opinionated and driven CEO of a major company, meets Santoshi, a former slave who now works as a cleaning lady and lives in a shelter for homeless women in Chennai. Appalled by the conditions in the shelter, Kiria becomes obsessed with the idea of building decent housing for poor working women in India. Santoshi reluctantly agrees to help, even though she thinks Kiria's ideas are too crazy to succeed.

Embarking on a rich journey of personal discovery, both women will learn invaluable lessons about themselves as they forge a powerful bond of sisterhood across the barriers of language and culture-a bond that makes anything possible.

My Thoughts: This was a nice pretty quick read for me that I overall enjoyed. As I mentioned above, I chose to read it since I am going to India in a few days. I figure why not read some book set in the land where I am going.
Kiria was also vacationing in India on her first visit. As an executive of a major in America, she is very ignorant of the lifestyle in India. Her first day turns out to be a disaster, but this is how she meets Santoshi. Santoshi has lived most of her life in poor shelters, having to move every few years. When Kiria goes to the shelter to find Santoshi and repay her for her kindness, she is horrified by the living conditions. Kiria returns to Canada but cannot keep her mind off of the shelter she saw.
Kiria moves to India to set up a women's hostel. A place where women can live safely and decently for a fair rent amount. Santoshi works for Kiria and also helps her with these plans, as well as some other women we meet throughout the book. Eventually the hostel opens and after time becomes successful, something no one was sure would ever happen.
I really enjoyed getting to know Kiria and Santoshi. Both characters learned so much about themselves and about each other throughout the book. Kiria was so close minded and opinionated in the beginning- she kind of annoyed me. But slowly she realized her way was not the only way. She began to respect the ways of the Indian culture even if she did not agree or understand it. Santoshi gained much confidence in herself. She grew up poor and on her own after her family sold her off. She slowly was making a life for herself, but with Kiria's help she was able to realize her full potential. This was a great story of friendship between two very different women.

3/5 Stars

PS- Again I apologize if this review is not up to my usual standards. I still have not slept after traveling (my eyes are fighting to close right now as I type this).

#6 in 2012 Mount TBR Challenge
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  1. Interesting and not something that I usually pick up - sadly, I'm an Indian who reads very few books set in India.

    1. It's ok I don't read many books set in present day America where I'm from. I thought it would be fun to read all of my books set in India before I go haha.


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