Author– Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Genre– Historical fiction, Adventure
I wasn’t very excited about Independence since I didn’t like the last book I read by the author. It was The Last Queen. But as I progressed in Independence, I realised how wrong it was to judge one of my favourite authors the way I did.
Independence is a fictional story of three sisters during the real chapter of India’s freedom struggle.
Priya, Deepa, and Jamini are similar in their build but have personalities that set each one apart. The story is set in Calcutta and starts in 1946- a year before India is set free after decades of British rule. On one hand there is the joy and celebration of Independence and on the other the sorrow and violence of Partition. The book covers the story of India before, during and after Independence i.e. from 1946 till 1954 and its impact on people and relationships.
How the struggle for India’s Independence impact individuals and their lives drastically is beautifully shown in the novel.
I couldn’t put this book down. Though some chapters become slow just when things start to get interesting and fast-paced, I simply enjoyed reading this sad tale of change. Priya seems to be the heroine of the story but for me, Deepa stood out in it. I don’t know why but I felt more for her for what she had to go through. Jamini is plainly an unlikable and pitiful character.
The bond between the sisters was not so great but not strained either. They stood for each other when it was needed and that was enough to say they loved each other despite their differences.
There is also romance and the pain of love in the novel which I enjoyed the most.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s expert hand draws images that emerge in front of you out of the pages- whether it is the description of life in a small village or one in the city or one when one is struck with tragedy.
I loved the scripts or notes that the author added at the start of each part. And the ending along with the postscript was the highlight of the book for me.
Apart from the missing punctuation in the copy I bought and one or two slow chapters, I couldn’t find anything lacking in this story. It is perfect. I enjoyed it so much- this tragic and lovable tale of the three sisters before, during and after India’s freedom struggle.
I didn’t just read this book, I lived it. It will proudly sit on my bookshelf for years.
Independence is recommended to anyone who loves reading historical fiction, is a fan of the author, or who likes tales brimming with love, loss, struggles, and contentment.
Buy Independence Here