Inheritance by Indira Ganesan Summary
In her first novel since her debut with The Journey, Indira Ganesan gives us the story of Sonil, who at fifteen has come to her adored grandmother's house on a paradisiacal island off the coast of India ("a tiny eye, to the teardrop that was Sri Lanka") to mend her shaky health. She has been living on the mainland with her aunts, to whom she was sent by her mother when she was a baby, and she yearns to find out why she was exiled and where her American father might be. On the island, she spends her time studying Italian with her absentminded uncle . . . talking about boys and clothes with her favorite cousin, Jani . . . spying on her mysteriously distant mother. The gorgeous surroundings--the mango trees, the flowers, the heat, the monkeys--awaken her senses, and ours too, as she settles in for a seemingly endless summer. Little by little, her spirits revive, and we see Sonil begin to move out of the magical world of her grandmother's compound into the wider life of the island, until she finds the perfect escape from her mother's rejection in a passionate affair with a young American. It is through her feelings for him that she begins to discover the means to forgive her mother and to look to herself for the answers she will need in the coming years. Inheritance is a lush, lovely novel that transports us to a timeless place, an exotic island crossroads of many peoples and cultures--an Eden where the drama of love and family, loss and acceptance, still works its powerful and encompassing magic.