Vine of Desire continues the story of Anju and Sudha, the two young women at the center of Divakaruni’s novel Sister of My Heart. Far from Calcutta, the city of their childhood, and after years of living separate lives, Anju and Sudha rekindle their friendship in America. The deep-seated love they feel for each other provides the support each of them needs. It gives Anju the strength to pick up the pieces of her life after a miscarriage, and Sudha the confidence to make a life for herself and her baby daughter, Dayita-without her husband. The women’s bond is shaken to the core when they must confront the deeply passionate feelings that Anju’s husband has for Sudha. Meanwhile, the unlikely relationships they form with men and women in the world outside the immigrant Indian community as well as with their families in India profoundly transform them, forcing them to question the central assumptions of their lives.

Praise for Vine of Desire:


“Divakaruni is gifted with dramatic inventiveness, lyrical, sensual language, the ability to interweave many points of view with ease…The Vine of Desire offers many delights.” ( Los Angeles Times )

“Sensitive and big-hearted…what makes this an engrossing and satisfying novel is the fullness of its characters, all managing without exception to be credible, likable, and fundamentally decent.” (Washington Post)

“Divakaruni’s narrative in Vine of Desire is as gracefully structured as a piece of chamber music, with its interplay of themes and voices, ensemble and solo, working their way toward a final resolving chord…If you find yourself counting the pages left in the book, it’s likely to be because you wish there were many, many more.” (San Jose Mercury News)

“Part of the beauty of Divakaruni’s talent is her ability to capture the true complexity of the emotional landscape of her characters…Divakaruni is an incomparable storyteller. A tale of heart-wrenching power…A lovely read and a fully worthy addition to Divakaruni’s excellent body of work.” (Denver Post)

“Divakaruni has always written well about the immigrant experience, and here, through Sudha and Anju, she draws a compelling contrast between the selflessness required of women in India and the sometimes bewildering freedoms offered in their adopted land…Vivid and lyrical.” ( San Francisco Chronicle )

“This is a potent, emotional book delivered by a writer who knows when to step back and take in the poetry.” (Book Magazine)

“This exquisitely rendered tale of passion, jealousy and redemption continues the extraordinary relationship between Anju and Sudha, the two exceptional women at the heart of Divakaruni’s praised Sister of My Heart...Divakaruni combines a gift for absorbing narrative with the artistry of a painter. Her lyrical descriptions of the characters’ inner and outer worlds bring a rich emotional chiaroscuro to an uplifting story about two women who learn to make peace with the difficult choices circumstances have forced upon them.” ( Publishers Weekly )

“The plot twists, the characters are engaging, and Divakaruni’s vaunted style is evident…Evocative and emotionally charged.” (Library Journal)

“Poetic and bewitching, observant and compassionate, Divakaruni has a remarkable gift for intertwining romance with trenchant insights into the harsh realities of women’s lives, whether they live in material comfort in Berkeley or in poverty in Calcutta, thus granting readers both visceral pleasure and clarifying aesthetic revelation.” (Booklist)