Tamarind Woman

Tamarind Woman

Book - 2002
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Set in the railway colonies of India, Tamarind Woman tells a sweeping story of two generations of women. Kamini, an overachiever, lives in a self-imposed exile in Canada. Her mother, Saroja, nicknamed Tamarind Woman due to her sour tongue, is trapped by the customs of traditional Indian life. When Saroja informs her daughter that she has sold their house and is going on a journey across India alone by train, both women are plunged into the past, confronting their dreams and disappointments as well as their long-held secrets.

At the center of both their lives is Kamini's elusive father, an officer for the India Railway System. Often away from home working on the railroads, he is unaware of the secrets of his own household. He doesn't know that his wife disappears for days at a time, leaving Kamini and her favored younger sister in the care of their superstitious servant. Nor does he know the gossip surrounding his wife and the local mechanic. Nothing, however, escapes Kamini's notice. Only now, living in Canada, is she able to make sense of the eccentric family she's left behind. Only now, with her children grown and her husband long deceased, is Saroja able to make peace with her past.

Lyrical, compassionate, and wise, Tamarind Woman is a powerful novel about family, memory, and the traditions that tear us apart and bring us together.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2002
ISBN: 9781565123359
Branch Call Number: BADA
Characteristics: 266 p
Alternative Title: Tamarind mem


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Jul 22, 2012

Read March 2008

Oct 01, 2011

We are presented with two narrations in this book: first the young daughter who has moved to Calgary from India, and then her mother who is now a widow who is travelling throughout India to see the sites that her husband never took her as a railroad employee. Some enlightened moments, but the writing was average, and so was the storyline.

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