Atlas of Unknowns

Tania James, Author . Knopf $24.95 (319p) ISBN 978-0-307-26890-7

In this perfectly adequate tale of bicontinental love, betrayal and secrets, sisters Anju and Linno Vallara live in Kerala, India, raised by their father after their mother’s apparent suicide. Crippled Linno establishes herself as a talented artist, a skill Anju ruthlessly claims as her own, passing off Linno’s paintings as hers to win a scholarship to study art in New York. When Anju’s dishonesty is eventually exposed, her future crumbles and she runs away, surviving only due to her friendship with Bird, a stranger who carries a key to their mother’s mysterious past. Meanwhile, Linno, who once resigned herself to being her family’s servant, has built a career and, despite her sister’s betrayal, resolves to find Anju and bring her home. As that reunion looms, layers of lies and secrets are exposed until the reader, if not the sisters, glimpses the tangle of honesty and loyalties underpinning the story. James paints Kerala and immigrant New York with identical depth and ease, and the story is a readable balance of well-crafted plot and artful emotion. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/02/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Paperback - 319 pages - 978-1-84739-416-3
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-84737-744-9
Paperback - 319 pages - 978-1-84737-403-5
Paperback - 319 pages - 978-0-307-38901-5
Open Ebook - 271 pages - 978-0-307-27150-1
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