Friday, April 21, 2017

The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi (Review)

Unforgettable, heartbreaking and hopeful...this one is a stunning debut from author Amita Trasi!

Book Details:

Book Title: The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi
Category: Adult Fiction,  416 pages
Genre: Literary / Women's Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release date: April 18, 2017
Tour dates: April 18 to May 8, 2017
Content Rating: PG-14 + M (This book contains mature subjects and scenes of rape, suicide, sex trafficking, prostitution, and physical and mental abuse)

Book Description:

In the spirit of Khaled Hosseini, Nadia Hashimi and Shilpi Somaya Gowda comes this powerful debut from a talented new voice—a sweeping, emotional journey of two childhood friends in Mumbai, India, whose lives converge only to change forever one fateful night.

India, 1986: Mukta, a ten-year-old village girl from the lower caste Yellama cult has come of age and must fulfill her destiny of becoming a temple prostitute, as her mother and grandmother did before her. In an attempt to escape her fate, Mukta is sent to be a house girl for an upper-middle class family in Mumbai. There she discovers a friend in the daughter of the family, high spirited eight-year-old Tara, who helps her recover from the wounds of her past. Tara introduces Mukta to an entirely different world—one of ice cream, reading, and a friendship that soon becomes a sisterhood.

But one night in 1993, Mukta is kidnapped from Tara’s family home and disappears. Shortly thereafter, Tara and her father move to America. A new life in Los Angeles awaits them but Tara never recovers from the loss of her best friend, or stops wondering if she was somehow responsible for Mukta's abduction.

Eleven years later, Tara, now an adult, returns to India determined to find Mukta. As her search takes her into the brutal underground world of human trafficking, Tara begins to uncover long-buried secrets in her own family that might explain what happened to Mukta—and why she came to live with Tara’s family in the first place.

Moving from a traditional Indian village to the bustling modern metropolis of Mumbai, to Los Angeles and back again, this is a heartbreaking and beautiful portrait of an unlikely friendship—a story of love, betrayal, and, ultimately, redemption.

Purchase Links:

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

The Color of Our Sky is an unforgettable story. What a stunning debut about the bond between two girls from different caste systems in India. I was immersed and transported to a reality that was heartbreaking but hopeful, with the resilience of the human spirit triumphing even in the most debased of human conditions.

The story is told from the alternating first person point of view of two girls: Tara, a city girl who grew up in a respectable home and upper caste system; and Mukta, a poor village girl, daughter of a temple prostitute from the lower-caste system. When the compassion of an older woman and her son lead Mukta to escape her fate of prostitution by placing her as a servant girl in Tara's home, the two girls become fast friends, breaking the rule that the two caste systems cannot mix.

The story takes place from 1986 to 2008 and goes back in forth in time until the two converge. This was very well done, building up anticipation and suspense as we follow both girls' lives to an ending that is satisfying and uplifting. Tara is a feisty girl who was very close to her father, but tragedy strikes several times and she is left scarred and guilt-ridden. Mukta suffers tragedy too, but she accepts her station in life and remains hopeful even as she suffers the mistreatment and slavery of prostitution by the mafia. Honestly, my heart ached so much for her and all the young girls, some  as young as eight, who are forced into this brutal life and killed if they try to escape.

As much as this book was hard to read at times, it was interspersed with joyful memories of the girls' friendship, their childhood, or the happy times spent with their mothers. We are intrigue by the mystery of Mukta's kidnapping as the circumstancing are revealed a little at a time. India comes to life under Trasi's pen, and her characters are so well-developed and real. The story raises awareness about sex trafficking and the people who dedicate their lives to helping victims of such crimes. 

Ultimately, this is a story that shows how far the depth of love and friendship can run, juxtapositioned with how tradition, poverty and greed can render people to do inhumane things. The contrast between despair and hope throughout the story keeps the reader glued to the pages, renewing one's belief that hope can help one survive.

Fans of Shilpi Somaya Gowda will devour this book. Amita Trasi is a new author to look out for. The Color of Our Sky has made it to my list of Best Reads of 2017.

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the Author:

Amita Trasi was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She has an MBA in human resource management, and currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two cats.

Find out more about Amita at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. "The contrast between despair and hope..." <--- Stories with this theme I find so meaningful in my life! I'll definitely be picking this one up.

    Thank you for being on the tour!

    1. Yes, stories like these are meaningful and help us to see the world with different eyes.

  2. This sounds like an important book. After reading your review, I feel I need to read it.

    1. I agree. And sex trafficking doesn't only happen in India. It happens in our countries too. Scary and sad.

  3. Laura, thanks for this tantalizing review. Sounds like a great read, and my TBR list grows.


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