Blind Faith

Sagarika Ghose, Author . Harper Perennial $13.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-06-135026-9

In the second novel from Ghose (The Gin Drinkers ), Mia Bhagat is a 28-year-old London-based Bengali reeling from the inexplicable suicide of her “Marxist-turned-Mystic” father. Her job as a TV reporter introduces her to Karna, an initiate of the conservative, utopian Purification Journey Brotherhood (men should “fight the female ego”) who’s also the spitting image of a figure from her late father’s painting of the Kumbh Mela, or Ganga River Festival of the Pitcher. Mia falls for him hard, but her mother arranges a marriage to a kind cosmetics entrepreneur named Vik Ray, with whom Mia moves to New Delhi. There, she enters the whirlwind of her husband’s extravagant parties and secretly waits for Karna. A subplot follows the character arc of Vik’s brilliant, beautiful and blind mother, Indi, from her childhood in Delhi to retirement in Goa. Ghose evokes the Indian settings with a wonderful tactility, and she hones in cuttingly on the sparring desires for love, independence and transcendence. Though the fractured plot’s threads weave together too neatly, Ghose, who is an anchor on CNN’s Indian affiliate, offers convincing meditations on mysticism vs. rationality and commercial wealth vs. spiritual poverty as they play out for her conflicted lead. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/07/2008
Release date: 02/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-157987-5
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Paperback - 273 pages - 978-81-7223-567-3
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