QUEEN OF DREAMS

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Author
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Author . Doubleday $21.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-385-50682-3
Reviewed on: 08/09/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-02256-0
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-385-50683-0
Paperback - 340 pages - 978-1-4000-3044-6
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-307-42739-7
Hardcover - 307 pages - 978-0-349-11608-2
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Spiked with elements of mystery, suspense and the supernatural, Divakaruni's sixth novel is a pleasantly atypical tale of self-discovery. Rakhi, a single mother and struggling artist living in Berkeley, Calif., has always been vaguely aware of her own mother's unusual gift—the ability to interpret dreams. Between juggling a laundry list of other priorities—keeping her floundering tea shop afloat after a Starbucks-esque supercafe moves in across the street, battling her ex-husband for their daughter's affections, finding her artistic voice—Rakhi longs to know more about her mother's past and her own hazy Indian heritage. After a mysterious car accident claims her mother's life, Rakhi, with her father's help, sets out to decipher Mrs. Gupta's dream journals in hopes of unlocking the secrets of her peculiar double life. A shadowy man in white who appears at pivotal moments, a sinister rival and entries from Mrs. Gupta's dream journals all punctuate this cleverly imagined tale of love, forgiveness and new beginnings. Meanwhile, September 11 disrupts Rakhi's search for identity, and a vicious attack on her friends and family calls their notions of citizenship into question. Divakaruni (The Mistress of Spices; Sister of My Heart; etc.) does a good job working current issues into the novel and avoids synthetic characterization, creating a free-flowing story that will captivate readers. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (Sept. 14)

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