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Praise for Oleander Girl

“An entrancing storyteller with an unerring moral compass, Divakaruni has created a superbly well-plotted, charming, yet hard-hitting novel of family, marriage, and class, a veritable Indian Jane Austen novel spiked with racial prejudice and religious violence.
–Booklist, starred review


"The heady pace of unfolding events [is] driven by the skill of an acclaimed raconteur at the top of her game. . . . The Kolkata parts of the story are the most entertaining [and] could have come from the pen of a contemporary Jane Austen. --India Today

“Chitra Divakaruni’s enthralling new novel, Oleander Girl, tells a love story that is more than just that. . . . The many memorable characters that people this novel make it a pleasure to read. [Divakaruni] lavishes as much care on secondary characters as she does on the principals. . . . [Her] tale is so well-plotted that few will guess the secrets at the heart of this page-turner.”
—Dallas News

“For those of us who read to escape the banalities of daily life, Chitra Divakaruni’s books are oxygen. She writes about India in a way that makes the rest of the world disappear around you.”
—Chicago Tribune


“Chitra Divakaruni is back in form with Oleander Girl. Her descriptive, evocative writing makes you race through the book and then mourn its completion. . . . Chitra’s mastery of penning characters and situations stir one’s emotions as she . . . maps the dilemmas of heritage and lineage. . . . For those who are fans of the author, this is a must-read. For those who have yet to discover her, this book is a must.”
—People Magazine (India)


“ Divakaruni’s gift is story telling, and she is generous with her gift. Through her wonderful novel Oleander Girl, we become active participants . . . and grateful witnesses to the maturing of a child into a woman.”
—Huffington Post

“Divakaruni is a gifted storyteller whose characters breathe and whose plot twists challenge tradition, love, and family.”
—The Day


“Part mystery, part search,. . . a many-faceted story of discovery.”
—Seattle Times


“Divakaruni’s new novel, Oleander Girl, is a showcase for the best-selling author’s ability to maintain her signature, beautifully-crafted prose while creating a complex set of deceptions, ruses, and lies, exposing the dark side of human nature. ”
—India Currents


Oleander Girl [is] the elegant and highly evocative new novel from Divakaruni, who has in the last two decades, become a powerhouse of South Asian American fiction. Divakaruni’s writing is gorgeous.”




In American Book Award winner Chitra Divakaruni’s new novel, Oleander Girl (Simon and Schuster), a young woman from a distinguished and orthodox Bengali heritage falls in love with a man from a nouveau-riche business family in Kolkata, a city buffeted by the clash between the old and new ways of life. On the brink of marriage, she will discover a family secret which will shake up her sense of self, cause her to put off her wedding, and impel her on a journey to America that will ultimately transform her in ways she cannot imagine. Set in 2002, in the fraught world of post 9/11 America and in an India torn apart by the Godhra Riots, Oleander Girl is an examination of the consequences of intolerance and the cost of desire.

An International Bestseller 

Oprah Book Club Recommendation