Sister India

Sister India

Book - 2001
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Baker & Taylor
Travelers become captives in the Saraswati Guest House when inter-religious violence traps them in the ancient town of Varanasi, India, on the sacred Ganges River with the eccentric guest-house keeper, Madame Natraja.

Blackwell North Amer
The Lonely Planet guidebook recommends the Saraswati Guest House in Varanasi and meeting its proprietor Madame Natraja, "a one-woman blend of East and West," as a worthwhile side trip for the adventurous traveler in India. Over the course of one weekend, several guests turn up at the Saraswati, shocked to encounter a nearly four-hundred-pound surly white woman in a sari. Jill Thornton, thirtyish and single, has come only to rest and see the sights before returning home from a business trip to New Delhi. T. J. Clayton, a swaggering southern bureaucrat, has arrived in India on a grant to study the pollution-plagued River Ganges. And Marie Jasper, nearly eighty years old, has ventured to Varanasi alone, after the death of her husband, to find peace by the holy river.
But as happens so often in India, Natraja's guests find more than what they came for. When a series of Hindu-Muslim murders rocks the peace of this sacred place, the entire city is placed under curfew indefinitely - no one may leave his home. Natraja's guests unwittingly become her captives, and the guardians of her secrets. So begins a period of days blending into nights, as Natraja and her Indian cook become entangled in the web of religious violence. And their guests each fall slowly under the spell of Varanasi - both enthralled and repelled by its wandering holy men, public funeral pyres, and pilgrims bathing in the Ganges at dawn. They feel the rumble of their own inner revolutions as they are drawn further and further into the folds of their captive city.
And Natraja herself feels the isolated existence she has carefully guarded for twenty-odd years, since she came to Varanasi as a beautiful young woman, begin to break open. She starts to come alive again in the shadows of the exotic city's claustrophobic lanes, among the smells of the perfume market and the rhythms of the holy men chanting on the riverbank. She awakens to love, and to life.

Baker
& Taylor

Travelers become captives in the Saraswati Guest House when inter-religious violence traps them in the ancient town of Varanasi, India, on the sacred Ganges River with the eccentric guest-house keeper, Madame Natraja. A first novel. 12,500 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2001.
ISBN: 9781573221764
1573221767
9781573229104
Characteristics: 275 p. ; 22 cm.

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